Remember, Pendleton runs at Saratoga today…

Each day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks all over the country to find the workouts that may aid you and your handicapping in the future. Some of the horses that we track, you will definitely know and recognize.  Some of the horses that we highlight, though, may be ones that you want to pencil in and keep an eye out for as they prepare for an afternoon race soon.

Here is a closer look at today’s top picks:

  1. Tour de Force is a 4YO colt by Tiznow, who has put up 3 wins and 2 seconds in just 8 lifetime starts for owners John Oxley and the Kinsman Stables. He recently ran fifth, and last, in the G2 Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine on July 29, going 11/4-miles on the turf.  He raced wide throughout that affair, and noticeably tossed his head at the 6F marker.  He weakened late in that race.  He was back on the track today, going 5Fs in 1:00.80 on Woodbine’s all-weather surface. That was the 5th best time out of 24 to go that far today. The colt had won his previous race at Woodbine on July 9 and will look to make amends soon. Keep an eye out for this one if he shortens back up a tad.
  2. Vendita is a 5YO mare by the outstanding stallion Smart Strike, and she ripped off four straight victories earlier this year at Gulfstream Park.  She ran her third 4th place finish in the last four starts on Aug. 4 at Gulfstream, but she was only beaten a nose, a nose and a neck for the win in a race held at 71/2F on the Turf. She was back on the track this morn, working 5Fs in 1:02.50.  That was the sixth best time out of 11 to go the distance.  If she drops back into the claiming ranks, she would be worth considering — for several reasons.
  3. Switzerland is a 3YO colt by Speightstown, who is owned by Woodford Racing and trained by Chad Brown. He has raced only 4 times to date, with a second; a third and two consecutive fourth place finishes. This one had a terrible trip in his last try, on Aug. 4 at Saratoga, and still was beaten only about 2 lengths. He was caught on the inside and had to wait on a couple of occasions for an opening to run. He breezed 4Fs today in 49.90, which was second best out of 19 to go the distance on the dirt training track. Keep an eye out for this one.  We haven’t seen the best of him, yet.
  4. Aquamarine, a son of Gemologist, was back on the track this morning for trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Saratoga.  He went 5Fs in 1:01.01 and was the fastest of two to go that far. This one was eased in the G2 Amsterdam at Saratoga in his last out, but he ran off in the post parade that day and was rank throughout the post parade. If he settles back down after an eventful spring and summer, he has ability — evidenced by his impressive 2nd place finish in the Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness weekend.  Watch for a quick return.
  5. Excitations is an exciting prospect and son of Into Mischief, who is owned by The Fairgrounds Owners’ Club. He ran a tough-beat second, by a nose, to Haskell winner Girvin in his career debut and was impressive in winning at Keeneland later in the spring.  He struggled in the mud during the Pat Day Mile, but recently ran a promising second to Coal Front in the G2 Amsterdam at Saratoga.  The latter was undefeated at the time, before tiring in the H. Allen Jerkens on Travers Day. Excitations worked 4Fs at Saratoga this morning in :49.02, which was 4th best out of 8. Keep an eye on this one.  He could really develop nicely.