(Sporting Chance won the 2017 Hopeful Stakes in an eventful finish / Courtesy of HorseRacingNation)
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 look to be headed toward a prime performance in the afternoon. Some of the horses that we watch and track, you will readily recognize and know. Others, though, you may not know — yet. Here is a closer look at some of today’s morning glories:
- Lenamarie, a 3YO bay filly by Paynter trained by Eddie Kenneally, trained this morning at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida. She went a half mile in :48.45, which was the bullet of 12 to go the distance. This gal ran second on debut at Kentucky Downs, before breaking her maiden at Keeneland on Oct. 12 in a MSW event. She closed well from just off the pace that day to win a 1-mile turf race by nearly 2 lengths. She came back to run 5th at Gulfstream Park in her first test against winners, but she went extremely wide in that event — which was won by Go Noni Go, a talented one trained by Mike Maker. Keep an eye on this one’s next try. She could be much better with a preferred trip.
2. Sporting Chance, who has been idle since besting Free Drop Billy in a controversial finish to the G1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga last September, was back on the work form for trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Oaklawn Park this morning. This son of Tiznow, owned by Robert C Baker and William L Mack, breezed 3-furlongs in a pedestrian :37 flat, which was the 2nd best time out of 19 to go the distance. It was his first published work since the last race. This guy, who cost $575,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, has only three races under his belt to date, with a second and two wins. The second came last June, when making his debut, and Sporting Chance was runner-up that day to a colt by the name of Dak Attack. We will watch for the steady return of Sporting Chance, who is surely going to be pointed to some of the Triple Crown preps later this winter/spring.
3. Taylor’s Sense, a 3YO colt by Street Sense, has run second in both of his two previous starts in 2017 at Remington Park. He worked for the first time since his last race in mid December, going 5-furlongs for trainer Steve Asmussen at Oaklawn Park. He covered the distance in a tepid time of 1:03 flat, which was the 17th best time out of 48 to go that far. Keep an eye out for this one’s 2018 debut soon.
4. Keep Quiet, a 4YO colt by Elusive City who was bred in France, worked this morning at the Casse Training Center in Florida. This one, who was last seen running 8th in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and missed all of last year, made his third published work since Dec. 12. Today, he went a half mile for the first time, in a reported time of :48.80 — which was the third best clocking out of 11 to go that far. Prior to that debacle in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup, Keep Quiet won the G3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland and had run second in the G2 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga. In the Bourbon Stakes, he beat the likes of Ticonderoga; and in the With Anticipation, he ran second to Made You Look. When right, this guy can motor on the grass.
5. Bluebood, a 3YO Ontario-bred colt by the late City Zip, worked this morning at the Casse training center, as well. This one posted his third published work since Dec. 5, going a half mile in :49 flat. That was the 6th best time out of 11. Purchased at the Keeneland September Sale of 2016 for $300,000, Blueblood is a perfect 2-for-2 lifetime, with both wins coming at Woodbine last year. After breaking his maiden in a MSW event on May 19, he didn’t come back until July. Then, he won the Victoria Stakes on July 7, pulling away late for a 3/4-length victory over Tenacity Zip as the odds-on favorite. That was a 5-furlong sprint over the synthetic. It will be interesting to see when this one shows up next.