(Gotta Go wins the Street Sense Stakes / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks and training facilities all over North America. We are searching for those horses that appear to be peaking at just the right time and may be sitting on a top performance in the afternoons. Some of the horses that we watch and track, you will know. Others, though, you may not recognize — yet. Here is a closer look at some of today’s morning glories:

  1. Ten Blessings, a 5YO colt by Smart Strike, has not run since finishing third to Mind Your Biscuits in the Malibu Stakes in 2016. Sharp Azteca was second in that race, and Mor Spirit was fourth. Nice field. Today, the colt got his 9th workout since Dec. 27 — nearly a year after his last race. And, today he was brilliant. He worked 5-furlongs in :58.20, which was the best of 7 to try the dirt distance at Santa Anita. This guy, now prepped by Bob Baffert, may be ready to strike soon. Watch out.
  2. Finess Bere, a French-bred filly by Pedro the Great (?), worked this morning at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert. The 3YO filly went 3-furlongs in :36.80 over the dirt surface, which was the 5th best time out of 7 to go that far. Since locating to the United States, she has run fourth in two Stakes events — the Blue Norther and the Sweet Life, both at Santa Anita. This one last run on Feb. 11, so she is in maintenance mode. But keep an eye out for this one’s return. She ran behind War Heroine and Ms. Bad Behavior in the last out, going 61/2 down the hill course, and she was extremely wide throughout.
  3. Bendable, a talented 5Yo mare by Horse Greeley who is owned by Claiborne Farm, is coming off an impressive second-place finish to Coniah in the G3 Las Cienegas Stakes held at Santa Anita on Jan. 20. That marked the mare’s first try over the grass surface, and she rolled down the hill course, to boot. She was back in serious training today, working 3-furlongs in :36 flat. That was the bullet work out of 7 to go that far. Today’s work was the fourth since the Stakes appearance. Look for trainer Richard Mandella to spot her back soon.
  4. Hence, who finished the 2017 campaign with a 6th in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx and a 7th in the Haskell Invitational, was back on the track this morning for trainer Steve Asmussen. The Street Boss colt breezed 5-furlongs in 1:02.40, which was the 8th best time out of 17 to go the distance. This was the colt’s fourth published work since Feb. 3, and he is probably still a bit aways. But this guy has talent — as evidenced by his wins in the G3 Sunland Derby and the G3 Iowa Derby a year ago. Inconsistent? Yes. But talented.
  5. Caledonia Road, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar last November, got to stretch her legs at the Palm Meadows training facility in South Florida on Wednesday. In her first published work since the Breedes’ Cup upset, she went 3-furlongs in a time of :38.45 for trainer Ralph Nicks. This daughter of Quality Road has lost only once in her brief 3-race career, to date. That was a second in the G2 Frizette Stakes last fall. Watch for this one to tune up over the next month. Can she still make the KY Oaks?
  6. Gotta Go, the son of Shanghai Bobby who appears on The Pressbox’s Top Derby Contenders Rankings, worked for trainer Ian Wilkes at the Palm Meadows training facility. He went 5-furlongs in 1:01.20, which was 5th best of 13 to go that distance. We have reached out to the connections to see if they have decided on his next race. He was impressive in running second to Strike Power in the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 21.