Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Abel Tasman, Battle of Midway, Vale Dori, Warrior’s Club

(Bob Baffert trains Abel Tasman & Vale Dori)

(Abel Tasman nipped Elate at Saratoga in 2017 / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

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:

  1. Rumandice, a 2YO filly by Congrats and trained by W. Bret Calhoun, made her racing debut on June 30 at Churchill Downs and ran a nice second to Start Affair, losing by less than a length. She was back on the training circuit this morning under the Twin Spires. In her first published work since the race, she went 3 furlongs in :37.40 — which was 7th of 9 to go that far. This one cost $100,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling a year ago, and has some real racing talent.
  2. Tale of Verve, a 6YO horse by Tale of Ekati and trained by Dallas Stewart, has not raced since January of 2016. However, the “old man” of the barn got his 8th published work since June 14 this morning, going a half mile in :48.60. That was the 4th best time out of 21 to go that far. On July 29, he fired the bullet of the day at 5 furlongs. Looks like he is getting about ready to test the afternoon waters very soon. In 19 lifetime races, to date, he has only 2 wins. But he is best known for running second to American Pharoah in the 2015 Preakness Stakes. In 12 races since that day in Maryland, Tale of Verve has hit the board only once — a win in an allowance event at Saratoga on July 23, 2016.
  3. Abel Tasman, winner of the 2017 KY Oaks and most recently the winner of the G1 Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park, worked this morning at Del Mar for trainer Bob Baffert. This daughter of Quality Road, who has a 7-4-0 record in just 13 career starts, went a nice 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat. That was the bullet move of 14 to go the distance this morning. Watch for this one to pop soon on the road to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Obviously, like others this year, she loves Churchill Downs.
  4. Battler of Midway, winner of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar and a son of Smart Strike, continues to work his way back to the races after a season of stud duty. He breezed 5 furlongs at Del Mar this a.m. in 1:01 flat, which was the 3rd fastest time. It was the sixth published work for the colt since July 7. In 10 lifetime starts, he has hit the board 9 times and has over $1.2 million in earnings. Can he make this come back?
  5. Vale Dori, a 6YO Argentine mare trained by Bob Baffert, is coming off a third place finish in the Santa Lucia Stakes at Santa Anita in late June. Before that, she ran fourth in the G1 Beholder Mile on June 2. This morning she worked at Del Mar, going 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat. That tied Abel Tasman for the fastest work of the day.
  6. Mr Cub, a 4YO gelding by Artie Schiller and trained by Ian Wilkes, worked at Saratoga this morning. He went an easy half mile in :49.67, which was 11th best out of 33 to go the distance over the dirt track. So far this year, in four starts, Mr Cub has won the Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs and a nice allowance event at Keeneland. Most recently, he ran third in the G2 Wise Dan Stakes at Churchill. He may try Stakes company again this meet. He’s doing good right now.
  7. Warrior’s Club, owned by the Churchill Downs Racing Club and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, has had a remarkable year. In 8 starts this season, he has a 2-2-2 record. Along that way, he won the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeeneland; ran second in the G2 Churchill Downs on KY Derby Day; ran third in the Kelly’s Landing Stakes at Churchill Downs; and ran a huge second in the G1 Aflfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga on July 28. In the last event, he was beaten by Imperial Hint. This morning, the son of Warrior’s Reward got his first published work since the last race with an easy half mile in :50.87. That was 28th out of 31. What a year.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • 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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