(Picture of Gun Runner the day after the Breeders’ Cup Classic win was taken by our own, Jodie Vella-Gregory)

Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks all over North America, searching for the Thoroughbreds that may be peaking at just the right time for a prime performance in the afternoons. Some of the horses that we track, you will know. Others, though, you may not know — yet.  Here is a closer look at today’s work standouts:

  1. Bahama Halo, a 3YO More Than Ready filly who was sold to Town & Country Horse Farms at the Fasig-Tipton Sale this February for $200,000, showed up on the work tab at Churchill Downs today.  This was her fifth work since Sept. 23 for her new connections and all signs point towards a race soon.  She has not made an afternoon appearance since running 8th in the G3 Sweetest Chant Stakes back before the sale at Gulfstream Park in February. She is already Stakes-placed, having run third in the Our Dear Peggy Stakes at Gulfstream last October. She breezed a half-mile this morning in :49 flat, which was the 26th best time out of 82 to go the distance. Interesting.
  2. Excitations, a talented 3YO colt by Into Mischief who has had an up-and-down 2017, is coming off a nice 2nd to Petrov in an allowance race at Keeneland on Oct. 18. This one looked like a world-beater this spring when he ran second by a nose to Gervin and then won two of his next three outs — including an impressive victory in an allowance at Keeneland in April.  After running poorly in the G3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill on Derby Day, he ran 5th to McCraken in the Matt Winn and then ran a game second in the G2 Amsterdam Stakes to Coal Front. Now, he appears to be back on the up swing, again. Today he worked a half-mile for trainer Al Stall at Churchill, going the distance in :48.60, which was 15th best out of 82. Always a good work horse, this one may be getting ready for another Stakes performance.
  3. Fault, a 3YO Blame filly who won the G3 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington Park three starts ago and then ran third in the G2 Sands Point and fourth in the G3 Pin Oak Valley View in her next two, breezed in company with stablemate Up With the Birds on the turf at Churchill Downs Sunday morn. The pair worked in tandem, going a half-mile in :51.40 with the dogs up.  The latter has had a tough 2017, but did win the G2 Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine last year and is now a 7YO horse. Keep an eye on Fault.  She may be priming for trainer Michelle Lovell.
  4. Bandito, a 2YO Creative Cause colt who won his last out at Keeneland in just his second start, breezed 5Fs at Churchill Downs this morning for trainer Dale Romans. He covered the distance on the fast dirt track in 1:02, which was the 11th best time out of 40.  This one looks to be on the improve immediately after having won at 11/8 miles on the dirt.  A long one for the youngsters. Keep this one in your Stable Mail.
  5. Linda, a 4YO daughter of Scat Daddy who disappointed as the odds-on favorite in an allowance at Keeneland in her last, breezed over the Churchill main track for trainer Ian Wilkes on Sunday. This one went 5F in a brisk 1:00.40, which was the bullet out of the 40 to go that far. Linda ran third in the G3 KY Downs Ladies Turf Stakes, second in the Indiana General Assembly Distaff Stakes, third in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile and third in the G2 Honey Fox Stakes this year after winning the G2 Mrs. Revere Stakes her last fall.  She is expected to show up here soon and try to get her first win of 2017.
  6. Reride, who just may be the next up-and-coming son of Candy Ride to expose under the tutelage of trainer Steve Asmussen (remember Gun Runner?), worked 5Fs at Churchill this morning, covering the distance in 1:02.60.  The breeze was the 18th best time out of 40 to go.  This one, out of the Tapit mare Remit, was bred and is still owned by the same peps that own Gun Runner — Winchell Thoroughbreds. Remit was a multiple Stakes winner, in her own right and out of the Olympio mare Free Spin — who won 3 of 6 starts, with 2 additional thirds. Watch out here.
  7. Tap Daddy, another talented 2YO from the barn of Steve Asmussen for Winchell, worked 5Fs in 1:02.80 at Churchill this morning, too. This one lost the 11/16-mile G3 Bourbon Stakes by two noses in his last out at Keeneland on Oct. 8.  He was bumped late in that affair, in-between the disqualified Tigers Rule and the eventual winner Flameaway.  This one could be a tough out in the coming weeks, as well. Keep an eye out here.