(Unique Bella / Photo Courtesy of Brisnet.com)
Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks and training facilities all over North America, searching for those horses that appear to be peaking at just the right time and ready for a prime performance in the afternoons. Some of the horses that we watch and track, you will notice and recognize. Others, though, you may not — yet. Here is a closer look at some of today’s morning glories:
- Flameaway, an Ontario-bred daughter of Scat Daddy who won the G3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in October before running a troubled 8th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, was back on the track at Palm Meadows Training Center this morning. She breezed 5Fs in a brisk 1:00.35 over the dirt training track, which was the second best time out of 9 to go that distance. This gal is trained by Mark Casse for his top owner, John Oxley. Look for a nice run back in her next outing.
- Mississippi, a 2YO colt by Pioneerof the Nile, worked for Casse at Palm Meadows this morning, as well. This one went the same distance in the same time as his filly roommate and is beginning to look like he is worth every penny that his owners paid for him at the Fasig-Tipton March Sale this year. He brought $700,000 that day, but has since broken his maiden in a 1 Mile dirt try at Churchill Downs on Nov. 19 against a group of solid contenders. Look for him to be back at Gulfstream Park soon.
- Faypien, who has turned into one of the best things in the barn of Bob Baffert these days, worked this morning at Santa Anita. She went a half-mile in :48.60 in company with teammate (and colt) Irish Freedom, and they clicked the clock as the 7th best time of 12 to go that distance. In six starts this year, Faypien — a 3YO daughter of Ghostzapper — has put up a record of 3 wins, 2 seconds and a third. She won the G2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita in June, and has run second in the G1 Longines Test Stakes and second in the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes in the last two. Look for her return soon, and she will be worth watching with interest. By the way, Irish Freedom is no slouch. He just ran second in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 25.
- Unique Bella, who was undefeated in 2017 and highly acclaimed going into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, was back on the track today at Santa Anita this morning. She went a half mile in :48.60, as well. This is her fifth work since the Breeders’ Cup, where she faded from her front-running and pace-setting top spot to run a disappointing 7th in the biggest race of her career. Before that debacle, the Tapit filly — who is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer — had won the G2 Santa Ynez, the G2 Las Virgenes, the G3 Santa Ysabel and the G3 L.A. Woman Stakes. All of those wins were impressive and stellar. Look for her return to her home track.