Thoroughbred Workout American Anthem

Every day, we scour over the work tabs at racetracks around the country to see what steeds may be performing and preparing for a major race event in the next few days or weeks. Some of the horses that we target, you will know from previous Stakes events and runs.  Some horses, though, you may not be aware of — as of yet.  We will try to keep you informed and posted about what horses appear to be rounding into peak form and condition.  Here is a look at today’s edition:

  1. Tap of War is a spectacularly-bred 3YO filly who went 5Fs in 1:00 flat breezing this morning at Churchill Downs, which was the 2nd best time out of 17 to go that distance. This daughter of War Front, and out of a Tapit mare Hightap, hasn’t been seen in the afternoon since a disappointing run on the grass at Keeneland in April.  However, she has been tuning up quite nicely for trainer Kelly Von Hemel and the Albaugh Family Stables, and this marks her 7th regular exercise since Aug. 17.  She may be ready for a return visit to Keeneland this fall.
  2. C Dub is one of my favorite horses to watch, as he prepares for a return to the races for the first time since January.  He got his 6th regular work since Aug. 15 this morning at Churchill Downs, and he turned in his fourth bullet exercise.  This morning he breezed a hole in the wind, going 5Fs in :58.20 — which was the best of 17.  This well-bred son of Hard Spun is also owned by the Albaugh Family Stables and is trained by Kelly Von Hemel, too.  He brought $475,000 as a yearling at Keeneland two Septembers ago.
  3. Foul Play, a 3YO filly by Harlan’s Holiday that was bred and is still owned by G. Watts Humphrey, worked this morning at Churchill Downs for the team of trainer Rusty Arnold and his assistant Jack Bohannon.  She went 4Fs in 50.20 breezing, over a muddy track.  It was the 28th out of 30 timed works at the distance.  This girl was impressive in breaking her maiden at Churchill last November, and appeared to have a bright future.  She has only raced three times since then; once last November 26 before being away from the afternoon races until August.  She ran a nice 3rd in the comeback at Indiana Grand, and appeared to be in a good closing spot at Ellis Park on Sept. 4 in a 1-mile contest on the dirt.  But she was steadied hard nearing the stretch in that one and lost all chance.  Keep an eye out for this one. Her third time off the layoff may be the perfect time.
  4. American Anthem, who had back-to-back Stakes victories before he ran a dull third to Practical Joke in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (formerly the King’s Bishop) at Saratoga, was back in action on Sunday morning at Santa Anita.  And, he looked like his old self, kicking up 4Fs in a brisk :47.20 for trainer Bob Baffert.  That was the best of 68 to go that distance on Sunday and he appears he may be rounding back into form at the right time.  Keep an eye and a stopwatch on this one.  This son of Bodemeister just may relish a rematch with the Jokester.