(Believe You Can, winner of the KY Oaks, is the dam of Believe in Royalty — trained by J. Larry Jones / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)
Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks all over the country. We are looking for workouts that may be of interest and helpful to you — as both race fans and handicappers. Some of the horses we will be tracking, you will know. Some of them, you may not know — as of yet. We will keep a keen eye and stopwatch to see who may be working well:
- Believe in Royalty, a royally-bred son of Tapit and the KY Oaks-winning mare Believe You Can, really woke up last time out when he captured the Ellis Park Derby on Aug. 12. Earlier this year, the one-time head-strong colt could not contain his emotions or his speed on the front end. And, that led to some early season disasters when trying to go two turns. Such as the G3 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds, and the subsequent Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park in March. But after a brief respite, trainer J. Larry Jones went back to the drawing board and has tried to coach his star pupil how to rate. And, it looks like the learning sessions are beginning to take. In the Ellis Park Derby, the colt rated nicely behind the early speedy types, while languishing in last of 12. But he made a huge move and closed from well back to win going away at the wire over stablemate Kowboy Karma. Today, he was back on the training path, working at Churchill Downs. He went a nice half mile in an easy :49.80, which was the 18th best time out of 37 to go the distance. Look for this one to show up at Churchill Downs in September.
- Hold Her Tight, a 3YO Proud Citizen filly that J. Larry trains for Brereton C. (as in both ends of the Jones connection), worked this morning at Churchill Downs, as well. And, she was spectacular. The Graded-Stakes placed filly breezed a half mile in a meaningful :47.60 — which was the bullet move out of the 37 this morning. In her last out, Hold Her Tight ran third in the G3 Iowa Oaks on July 5. She looks primed and ready. Soon.
- Shanghai Rain, a 2YO Shanghai Bobby filly trained by W. Bret Calhoun, has been tossed in against some real good ones in the last two after breaking her maiden at Churchill Downs this May. She ran second behind the highly-regarded Restless Rider (who just ran a super one at Saratoga) in the Debutante at CD, and then followed that up with a troubled/wide fourth in the Ellis Park Debutante to Serengeti Empress. The filly trained under the Twin Spires this morning, going an easy half mile in :49.60. That was 14th best. This one’s sire is having an awfully good year on all kinds of surfaces and at all kinds of distances. This one could be really OK.
- Sergengeti Empress, the 2YO daughter of Alternation who easily defeated the one just above in the Ellis Park Debutante, worked this morning at Churchill Downs, as well. This one now has two wins in the first three career starts, and is a SW, to boot. Today, she went an easy half in :49.20 — which was 8th best.
- Infinite, a 2YO son of Scat Daddy owned by a group led by Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier, breezed at Keeneland on Tuesday. And, he may be one to watch out for in the very near future. He has only raced once so far and he blew a gasket in the early going at Presque Isle back in May. Been off since, but he trained really nicely at Keeneland on Tuesday, going 5 furlongs in 1:01.80. That was the 4th best time out of 8 to go the distance, and it marked the sixth published breeze since July 13. This one could pop soon. May put his name on file.
- Honeyfromthesouth, a 2YO Fed BViz filly trained by Bob Baffert, may be worth watching in the near future, too, although the odds may not be much. This one has run twice to date, and has two seconds on the resume. While racing may have concluded at Del Mar, this one trained over the track this morning, going a half mile in :49 flat. That was the bullet move of 6 to go the distance. This one has a future. Bank on it.
- Der Lu, a 2YO Orb filly trained by Baffert, also worked at Del Mar this morning. She went 7 furlongs in 1:27.60, the exact same time as her work buddy, a colt by the name of Croatian. Der Lu is a winner in her only career start to date, while her 3YO workmate has a second in 4 starts. Don’t be shy watching Der Lu. Could be another talent in the Baffert barn.