Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Romans Thrilled With Free Drop Billy; Monomoy Girl Brilliant; Lone Sailor Sails, Too

(Free Drop Billy training before this year’s Kentucky Derby / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

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 their best and ready for a key race.  Here is a look at today’s top works:

  1. Free Drop Billy — winner of the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last Fall, but winless since that October race — tuned up for the Belmont Stakes at Churchill Downs today, and he thrilled his trainer, Dale Romans. The beautiful son of Union Rags covered 5 furlongs in a brilliant :59.20, which was the bullet work out of 15 to go that distance. I contacted the personable trainer after the work, and Romans simply said: “He’s doing great.” Watch out for this one. Remember Keen Ice in the Travers vs. American Pharoah?
  2. Triple Chelsea, a 5YO mare by Hat Trick, is on a real roll right now for trainer Joe Sharp. She has won three Stakes events in a row and four of the last five. She breezed a half mile this morning over the turf course at Churchill Downs, and covered the distance in :48.80. That was the bullet move out of 4 to go the distance. Red hot right now.
  3. Coach Rocks, who won the G2 Gulfstream Oaks and ran second in the G2 Black-Eyed Susan in two of the last three races, worked this morning at Churchill Downs for Team Romans, as well. The Oxbow filly, owned in part by former University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, ran a 7th to Monomoy Girl in-between those two prime performances. She breezed a half mile in a brisk :47.60 this morning, which was the 5th best time out of 64 to go that distance. She is really good right now, too.
  4. Lone Sailor, who ran 8th in the Kentucky Derby and 5th in the Preakness Stakes after nearly winning the Louisiana Derby, is sitting out the Belmont Stakes this coming Saturday. But trainer Tom Amoss did put the son of Majestic Warrior through a workout at Churchill Downs this morning.  And, he was impressive — again. He moved a half mile in :47 flat — which was the bullet work out of 64 to go the distance. Wow. This guy has a motor.
  5. Monomoy Girl, the wonderful winner of the Kentucky Oaks and maybe one of the best fillies in the entire world right now, worked this morning at Churchill Downs for trainer Brad Cox. She will be running in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes this coming weekend, but she still stepped it up and out with a time of :47.20 for a half mile. That was the 4th best time out of 64 to go that distance. This filly is marvelous, amazing, brilliant. Period. Time will only tell, but I am thinking she may be Songbird good.
  6. Switzerland, a 4YO Speightstown colt who is undefeated since being transferred to the barn of Steve Asmussen for Woodford Racing, worked an easy half mile in :52.40 this morning at Churchill Downs. That was the 59th best time out of 64. He doesn’t need much conditioning right now, though. He is coming off four straight wins — including an impressive runaway victory in the G3 Maryland Sprint Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Day.
  7. Promises Fulfilled, winner of the G2 Fountain of Youth before a 9th in the Florida Derby and a 15th in the Kentucky Derby, flashed his brilliant speed this morning at Churchill Downs for Romans, as well. He breezed a half mile in :47 flat. That was the bullet move. This guy may not be a 11/4-mile horse. But he is a good one. And, a fast one.

At this time of great sadness for our family, we find comfort in knowing that one of the great joys in his life was seeing Oaklawn develop into a national treasure with such a significant economic impact on Arkansas. In addition to the holidays with his family, his favorite time of the year was always the Oaklawn racing season with fans, horsemen and staff.

Family of Charles J. Cella, the owner of Oaklawn Park, upon his passing this week at the age of 81
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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