(West Coast after winning the Travers’ Stakes)

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 primed for an outstanding performance in the afternoons. Some of the horses that we watch and track will be familiar to you. Others, though, you may not recognize or know — yet. Here is a closer look at some of today’s morning glories:

  1. West Coast, the newly turned 4YO colt by Flatter and out of the former Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Caressing, worked this morning at Santa Anita in preparation for his next start — the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park at the end of this month. The colt worked 6-furlongs for trainer Bob Baffert in a time of 1:12 flat — which was the best time out of 4 to go the distance. The colt was a late foal, and it took him time to roll into full physical shape to compete in the 3YO world last year. When he did, though, he began to dominate — winning 5 races in a row, including the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga and the G1 Pennsylvania Derby. He held his own in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, running third behind Champion Gun Runner. Can he make up the necessary lengths to make a difference in the Pegasus?
  2. Farrell, who was scratched out of a Stakes event at the Fair Grounds over the weekend when she was expected to make her grass debut, worked this morning in New Orleans. The 4YO filly went 7-furlongs in a time of 1:27 flat. She was the only horse to go that distance today. Farrell won 4 races in a row early last year, concluding with impressive wins in the G2 Rachel Alexandra and the G2 Fair Grounds Oaks. She was one of the favorites for the 2017 Kentucky Oaks, before running a disappointing 14th. She did come back — after a lengthy layoff — to win the G2 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs in her last out. Keep an eye out for this one. She loves the Fair Grounds track.
  3. Kowboy Karma, a 3YO gelding by Kodiak Kowboy, who was second in the John F. Lewis Stakes at Laurel Park in his last start and ran fourth to Firenze Fire in the G1 Champagne Stakes before that, worked towards his 2018 debut at the Fair Grounds this morning for trainer Larry Jones. He went 5Fs in 1:00.20, which was the bullet out of five to go the distance this morning. This guy should show up in the Lecomte or another Stakes on the Triple Crown Road this winter. Take note that this guy finished just a neck behind Enticed in the Champagne. And, Enticed finished the year with a win in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs.