Work Tab for Tuesday, Jan. 29: Binoculars Focused On Molto Bella, Five Star General

(Ian Wilkes trains Molto Bella / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks all over the country.  We are looking for workouts that may be of interest and helpful to you — as both race fans and handicappers.  Some of the horses we will be tracking, you will know.  Some of them, you may not know — as of yet.  We will keep a keen eye and stopwatch to see who may be working well:

  1. Skole, a 3YO gelded son of Oasis Dream and trained by Arnaud Delacour for the Green Lantern Stables LLC, is coming off a nice MSW win at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 22. Broke the maiden at 5 furlongs on the main track after it was moved from the grass surface. Took the lead and never looked back with Jose Ortiz in the irons. Got his first published work since that race today at Tampa Bay Days, working 3 furlongs in :37.80. That was the 5th fastest time out of the first 15 to clock the distance. May be interesting to follow this one, especially when he gets to the grass.
  2. Molto Bella, a 3YO Violence filly trained by our great friend Ian Wilkes, also worked at Tampa Bay this morning. This one — who captured the Gasparilla Stakes here the last time out and was a nice 4th in the G2 Demoiselle Stakes on Dec. 1 — went a half mile over the dirt track in :49.60. That was the 14th best time out of the 43 to work that distance. This filly — who cost $100,000 to purchase at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale — ran second to the highly acclaimed Mother Mother in the Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs on Oct. 28 and now has 2 wins and 2 seconds in 6 career starts. May be one to follow this Spring. Could she be good enough to make the KY Oaks?
  3. Five Star General, a 3YO Distorted Humor colt trained by Delacour, breezed this morning in Tampa, too. This one, who has won two in a row — including the Central Park Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 22 — went 5 furlongs in 1:01.20. That was the bullet move out of 17 to go that far. The last three times this guy has worked, he has posted three bullet moves. Won at a mile last time out while making the lead from gate-to-wire. Don’t know how far this speedy guy will go yet, but he has “the look.”

I was absolutely dancing into the Winner’s Circle. It was so exciting and Joel has been like one of my kids ever since he came from Bay Meadows. We tease each other a lot. We greet each other by grunting and everybody looks at us like, ‘what’s that all about’ but we’ve been doing it for years. So it’s wonderful to win with him. The owners are great people that really deserve something like this.

“This horse seems like he’s more adept at seven furlongs to a mile so I’m not sure he wants a mile and a quarter …

“I could tell my horse had won, but I was so excited in the stretch I thought I was gonna pass out.

“We are very happy with the way our horse had trained for this race, but it’s always scary when you get a look at those Baffert ‘Maseratis’, it pretty much unfolded the way we had hoped.

“The people that own this horse, they’ve got this colt a seven furlong-miler type maybe time will tell differently, but the other colt they are focusing on him going the two turns.”

  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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