Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks all over North America looking for the exercise that may just tune up a horse for the perfect afternoon run.  Some of the horses that we watch, you will know.  Some, on the other hand, you may not know –yet.  Here is a closer look at today’s works:

  1. Spirit Special, a 3YO gelding by Ghostzapper, began his career with three straight fourth place finishes before breaking his maiden this February at Parx. After running fifth in the next two outs, the last one coming in April, he was given some time off by trainer Kathleen Demasi.  He hasn’t raced since, but he started back into serious training in September and now has four straight works.  This morning, he had his best work since going to the sidelines when he breezed a half-mile in :48.07 over the fast dirt at Parx.  That was the 3rd best time out of 18 to go the distance.  Keep an eye on this one.  After another sharp work or two, he may be ready to take the next step
  2. McCraken, the talented Ghostzapper colt who nearly won the G1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park before disappointing in the G1 Travers this summer, came back to run third to The Player in the Hagyard Fayette at Keeneland.  He wasn’t a threat that day, but trainer Ian Wilkes thought it was a good return to the races for his prized pupil. Now, the colt will be pointed toward a major stakes at Churchill Downs this Fall — the Clark Handicap. He breezed a half mile in :50.40 over a sloppy track, which was good enough to be 6th out of 10.  We have reached out to Wilkes to get a report on how the colt is doing after the work. As soon as we know more, we will post.
  3. Abbreviate, a 3YO filly by Harlan’s Holiday owned and bred by Juddmonte Farm, breezed this morning at Belmont Park in NY. She went a half mile in :49.46, which was 12th best out of 22 to go the distance over the fast dirt track. This one has has won two in a row after beginning her career with a second and a fourth for trainer Chad Brown. She broke her maiden on Sept. 15 over a good prospect named Jaunt by 31/2 lengths, and then returned on Oct. 25 to win in her first try against other winners by nearly 3 lengths going a mile on the grass. Watch out for this one.  She could develop into a special one.
  4. Tiz a Kitten, a 3YO Kitten’s Joy filly who was claimed two starts back by trainer John Toscano, worked at Belmont Park this morning, as well.  She went a half mile in :49:09, which was the third best time out of 22 to go the distance. Six days after the claim, Toscano wheeled this one right back in to racing action, and she ran fourth on Oct. 18.  With a bit of rest, she may be OK to fire the next time out.  Or, she may be worth a claim, if there is a drop.  We will be watching.