(Copper Bullet)

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. Gio Game, a 3YO filly by Gio Ponti who broke her maiden at Keeneland last October before running 9th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race at Del Mar, worked at the Casse Training Center in Florida on Saturday. She went a half mile over the dirt training track in :48 flat, which was the second best time out of 12 to go that distance. This one, trained by Mark Casse for John Oxley, had just her second published work since Jan. 10. She is still aways to go, but is very talented and may pop up any time soon.
  2. Missive, a 3YO filly by Alternation and trained by Michael Stidham for Pin Oak Farm, was on the track this morning at the Fair Grounds. She breezed a half mile in a time of :49.20 over the dirt track. This maintenance work was the 9th best of 59 to go the distance. Missive is coming off a third place finish to the highly regarded Stronger Than Ever and Wonder Gadot in the Silverbulletday Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 13. Watch for this filly to show back up in Stakes company in New Orleans soon.
  3. Copper Bullet, who sits near the top of our leader board for 2018 Derby contenders, worked at the Fair Grounds this morning for trainer Steve Asmussen. This talented son of More Than Ready breezed 5-furlongs in 1:00.80, which was the 3rd best time out of a robust group of 37 to go the distance this a.m. It is not sure when Copper Bullet will make his 3YO debut as of yet, but don’t be surprised if he shows up in the Risen Star here. He now has five published works since Jan. 5. This guy is super talented and could very well be the next and rising superstar in the Asmussen barn. Owned by the Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton, Copper Bullet won the Saratoga Special on Aug. 13 after nearly capturing the Bashford Manor, in a debacle back last June. This guy may have been the most talented 2YO in the country a year ago. Watch for this one’s 2018 debut.
  4. Principe Guilherme is another who hails from the talent-laden barn of Steve Asmussen and assistant Scott Blasi. He went 5/8ths this morning at the Fair Grounds, as well, in a time of 1:01.40. That was the 8th best time out of 37 to go. This super talented colt, by the great sire Tapit, won by open lengths in his first two starts. On Jan. 13, he ran a huge second to the more experienced Instilled Regard in the LeComte Stakes back on Jan. 13. This one is likely to be back in the Risen Star, as well. He is high on our Derby Rankings list, as well, and may jump up after the last run.
  5. Reride, a third from the barn of Asmussen, won his first two starts of his career, as well. He was 6th in a very troubled circuit during the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25. This one came back to win the Big Drama Stakes at Delta Downs on Jan. 13. Keep an eye on this one, who is flying just a bit below the radar. He has talent, too. He went the 5Fs in 1:02.20, which was 18th best of the 37.
  6. Snapper Sinclair, third in the LeComte Stakes at the Fair Grounds in his first start on the dirt after running 12th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, worked the same 5Fs for Asmussen’s barn in a time of 1:02.60. That was 24th out of 37.
  7. Lookin At Lee, who was second in the 2017 Kentucky Derby and is working his way back to the races for Asmussen, worked the same 5F distance in a time of 1:00.80 this morning. That was the 3rd fastest time out of 37 to go. That gives a bit of perspective on the works of the 3YOs this morning.
  8. Always Dreaming, winner of the 2017 Kentucky Derby, worked at Palm Beach Downs this morning for trainer Todd Pletcher. It was his second published work since Jan. 29 in his efforts to get back to the racetrack. He went a half mile in :50.30, which was the 6th best time out of 9 for the son of Bodemeister.
  9. Cognitive, a 3YO filly by Uncle Mo who broke her maiden in style on Jan. 26 at Santa Anita, breezed a half-mile in :47.80 at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert today. That was the 8th best time out of 56 to go the distance. Super work for the young filly. Keep an eye on this one.
  10. Emboldened, another talented filly in the Baffert barn, worked this morning at Santa Anita. This daughter of Elusive Quality worked a half mile in :49.60. That was 35th of 56. This one is entered to run in an Allowance-Optional Claimer at SA on Feb. 9. Worth watching.