Work Tab for Wednesday, July 17: Binoculars Focused On Seeking the Soul, Believe in Royalty, McKinzie & Others

(McKinzie after winning the G2 Alysheba Stakes at  Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

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. Highlight Reel, a 3YO Union Rags colt formerly trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Gary and Mary West, has not run since his 6th place finish at Del Mar last November. But the colt has been training regularly since July 2 at Churchill Downs. Worked a half mile in a nice :48 flat this morning. That was the 2nd best time out of 25 to make the distance. This one cost $260,000 at the KEE September Yearling Sale in 2017. Interesting development with this one.
  2. Seeking the Soul, impressive winner of the G2 (should have been G1) Stephen Foster Stales for trainer Dallas Stewart in the last out, worked this morning at Churchill Downs. Went 6 furlongs in 1:13 flat. Seeking the Soul was the only horse to time that distance this morning. In 27 career starts to date, the 6YO horse has now compiled over $3.335 million in purses for owner Charles E. Fipke. Be interesting to see where this guy shows up next. He is a warrior. A talented one, at that.
  3. Kowboy Karma & Believe in Royalty, two talented colts trained by J. Larry Jones, both worked at Ellis Park on Tuesday, July 16. The former went a half mile in :48.20, which was the bullet move at the distance. The 4YO gelding has a 4-4-1 mark in 14 career starts, and most recently ran 3rd in the Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 29. The latter is a super well-bred son of Tapit and out of the KY Oaks-winning mare Believe You Can. Has not run since finishing second to Lone Sailor in the G2 Oklahoma Derby last September at Remington Park. Got his 7th published workout since May 23 at Ellis on Tuesday, though. Went 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat. That was another bullet move. Looks ready. Looks primed. Ready to go?
  4. McKinzie, a 4YO Street Sense colt and one of the world’s most talented horses in training at this time, worked at Del Mar this morning. Went 6 furlongs in 1:12 for trainer Bob Baffert, and that was the only horse to clock that distance early today. In his last start, McKinzie ran 2nd in the Metropolitan Mile at Belmont Park. That was on the heels of his impressive win in the G2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs on KY Derby Day. In 11 starts now, he has 6 wins and 4 seconds. Only time off the board was in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic last November in Louisville. Imagine this. Has never raced at Del Mar. Wow.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • 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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