2-17-2018 Bravazo, with Miguel Mena aboard, pushes to the lead to beat Snapper Sinclair in a close finish in the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

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. Snapper Sinclair, who nearly pulled off the huge upset in the G2 Risen Star Stakes in his last outing at the Fair Grounds, was back on the track this morning in New Orleans. The City Zip colt went 5-furlongs in 1:01 flat, which was the 3rd best time out of 16 to go the distance. Trainer Steve Asmussen has the newly converted dirt runner poised to run next in the Louisiana Derby on March 24. If he can duplicate his effort over the track that he showed in the Risen Star, he will be a closing threat. In only two starts over the dirt, he has a third in the LeComte Stakes and the 2nd in the Risen Star. Improving.
  2. Retirement Fund, a talented 3YO colt by Eskendereya, was in some serious training at the Fair Grounds this morning for the barn of Steve Asmussen. Like his roommate above, the colt went 5-furlongs in 1:01 flat, while breezing over the dirt track. This guy is trying to recover from his first loss after two straight impressive wins at the Fair Grounds. In his last out, he was swamped out of the boat by My Boy Jack in the G3 Southwest Stakes over at Oaklawn Park. Looked better on the track today. Watch for a return at the home base in Louisiana.
  3. McCraken, one of the favorites on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” a year ago, is working his way back to the racetrack. The talented son of Ghostzapper worked this morning at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida for trainer Ian Wilkes. The colt breezed 5-furlongs in 1:02.75, which was the second best time out of 6 to go the distance. This guy nearly won the G1 Haskell Invitational a year ago, and surely is set to have an outstanding 4YO season.
  4. Actress, a beautiful Tapit filly who broke her maiden by winning the G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in the mud at Pimlico last year, worked this morning at Palm Meadows for trainer Jason Servis. The filly breezed a half mile in a leisurely :52.90, which was 26th best of 27. The filly made her 2018 debut by running second in the G3 Houston Ladies Classic Stakes at Sam Houston Park on Jan. 28. Watch for this one to roll in her next out.