Work Tab for Wednesday, July 24: Binoculars Focused On Improbable, Manny Wah & Others

(Improbable before this year’s KY Derby / 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. Manny Wah, a 3YO son of Will Take Charge and trained by Wayne Catalano, has gotten a little break from the afternoon race circle and cycle of late. Hasn’t run since finishing 12th in the G3 Pat Day Mile on KY Derby Day. Got his third published work of July this morning at Churchill Downs, though. Went a nice half mile in :48.60 — which was 9th best of the 36 to go the distance. In 10 lifetime starts to date, Manny Wah has a 2-2-2 mark, with a 3rd place finish in the G3 LeComte Stakes at the Fair Grounds back in January. Look for more from this one soon.
  2. Straight Shot, a 3YO son of Trappe Shot and trained by Ian Wilkes, may be one to keep an eye on in the future. The colt broke his maiden in the third career start at Churchill Downs on June 8, and followed that up with a nice second to Bye Bye Birdstone at Ellis Park on July 5. Lost that one by just a head, and was coming strong late. Had trouble at the start, too. Worked today at Churchill Downs. Went a nice 5 furlongs in 1:01.60, which was the 9th best of 20. I’ve added to my Stable Mail and tracking. Take note.
  3. Improbable, one of the top contenders on the “Road to the KY Derby” earlier this year, worked at Del Mar this morning for trainer Bob Baffert. The 3YO son of City Zip went a half mile in :49 flat. That was the 3rd fastest time out of the first 14 to clock the distance. Has not been seen in the afternoon since running 4th in the KY Derby and 6th in the Preakness Stakes. But today’s work was the second published move in July. Looks to be getting back on his game.
  4. Annathela, a 6YO mare by Elusive Quality and trained by Rusty Arnold, worked this morning at Keeneland. Went a very nice half mile in :48 flat. That was the 9th best time out of 32 to clock the distance. In two starts this year, the mare has run 8th in the G3 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs in May, and, most recently, 6thi in the G3 Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park on June 29. Still looking for some black type for this one, who has earned over $252,000 in a 23-race career.
  5. Skeptic, a 4YO Tiznow filly trained by Arnold, worked at Saratoga this morning. Went 5 furlongs in 1:02.13. That was the bullet move out of the first 5 to clock the distance. In 12 career starts to date, the filly has a 4-1-2 mark, and is coming off a 6th place finish in the G2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 15. This gal won the G3 Monmouth Oaks last year and won her start two back at Churchill Downs. Some talent here. Watch for her next if back in allowance ranks.

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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