First Kiss, owned in part by Gene McLean and Mike Schnell, is our newest hopeful.

Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks and training facilities all over North America searching for horses that look to be ready for a prime performance in the afternoons. some of the horses that we watch and track, you will know and recognize. Others, though, you may not know — yet. Here is a closer look at today’s morning glories:

  1. Salty is a 3YO Quality Road filly who has had a tremendous year, despite what some may say is disappointing, too. She won the G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks; ran second in the G1 Acorn Stakes; ran third in both the G1 Coaching Club of America Stakes and the G1 Alabama. She was fifth behind Abel Tasman in the Kentucky Oaks. Despite all the successes, though, some have wanted and expected more. Undoubtedly, this filly has a ton of talent, and the “more” may come soon. She was back on the track at the Casse Training Center in Florida this morning, breezing 3Fs in :37.80, which was the second best of three. Keep an eye on this one’s return.  She loves Gulfstream Park.
  2. Shanghai Noon is a 2YO colt by Shanghai Bobby who broke his maiden on debut at Gulfstream Park West on Nov. 19. This won sold as a yearling for $230,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Sale in Saratoga. He has twice been entered in a subsequent sale, but has not met the reserve price. Now, he is running. And, pretty well, at that. He was back on the track at the Palm Meadows Training Center in Southern Florida this a.m. and went a half mile in :48 flat. That was the 4th best time out of 18 to go over the turf course there.
  3. First Kiss, a 3YO daughter of Smart Strike who is owned by Mike Schnell and I, worked this morning for trainer Stephen Lyster at Tampa Bay Downs. She covered the half mile in an official :49.20, which was 19th best out of 55 to go the distance. She looks to be ready to make her career debut soon. I will definitely keep you posted. After all, she hails from the same female family as the outstanding stallion, Tiznow. Fingers crossed.
  4. Cutter Helm, a 2YO colt by Super Saver, actually broke his maiden on debut for trainer Michael Stidham at The Fair Grounds on Nov. 18. However, due to some interference in the stretch, he was DQ’d and placed second behind Much Trouble. He was entered today, but didn’t draw into the race and was scratched off the AE List. He breezed instead, going a half mile in :48.80 — which was the 6th best time out of 100 to go. Bet this one back, is my advice.
  5. Terra Promessa, who has 3 wins and 2 seconds in 6 starts this year, was back on the training schedule this morning for trainer Steve Asmussen. This multiple Stakes winner went a half mile in a leisurely :51.60. She will be pointed towards a race soon. She has not been seen in the afternoon since she ran second in the G3 Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga in July. Before that, she won the G3 Allaire DuPont Stakes at Pimlico and ran second in the G1 Apple Blossom Stakes to Stellar Wind. Class act here.