Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Abel Tasman

(Trainer Bob Baffert also trains Abel Tasman)

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. Sporting Chance — a talented, yet troubled 3YO colt by Tiznow, who entered this year as one of the leading contenders on the Triple Crown Trail and has now become more recognized for his late, stretch-running antics — worked at Churchill Downs this morning for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. He breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01.20. That was the 4th best time out of 13 to go the distance. The last time we saw this colt on the racetrack in the afternoons, he was 6th in the Preakness Stakes behind the great Justify. Before that, he had a 5th in the G2 Rebel Stakes; a 4th in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes; and a 4th in the G3 Pat Day Mile. It has been a long time since that G1 win in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga last September. But the talent remains. Looked good this a.m.
  2. Tale of Verve, a 6YO horse who ran second to the great American Pharaoh in the Preakness Stakes for trainer Dallas Stewart, is working his way back to you. He got his 5th published work since May 24 this morning at Churchill Downs, going 5 furlongs in 1:02.20. That was the first time that he had been stretched out that far, and his time was 7th best of 13 to go the distance. It would be nice to see this one return to fine form. He has only one finish in the top 3 in 12 starts since that run in the Preakness. That was a win in an allowance event at Saratoga in 2016. Hope he finds his way back again soon.
  3. Crosswalk, a talented colt by City Zip and trained by my great friend Neil Howard for W.S Farish, has been a bit snake-bitten and unlucky in his career to date. He has raced 6 times so far with a couple of wins and 4 seconds. He was entered over the weekend at Churchill Downs and I loaded up and touted him in our picks. He was scratched from that encounter, though, and was back on the practice field this morning. He went 5 furlongs in 1:02.60. That was 8th best of 13 to go. This guy is plenty fit enough. It is just finding the right spot — because he has Stakes quality to him. Keep an eye out. This one can run.
  4. Abel Tasman, winner of the 2017 KY Oaks and one of the best racing fillies in the world last year, somehow was written off going into the G1 Ogden Phipps by many of the “racing experts.” We, on the other hand, touted her quick return to fame. She responded with a run-away victory for Team Baffert, and a return to the top of the division. She worked at Santa Anita this morning for the first time since that race, and she covered a half mile in a brilliant :48.20 — the bullet move of 8 to go the distance early on. She can run. Quit trying to find fault
  5. Critique, a 3YO daughter of Midnight Lute who broke her maiden in style last year at Saratoga before running 6th in the G1 Frizette and being shut down, is back in training for trainer Todd Pletcher. She got her 6th published work since May 25 this morning, going a bullet time for 5 furlongs at the Spa. She covered the distance in 1:02 flat, which was the best of five to work that distance. Watch for this one’s return. Talented.

We’ll wait a few days to see if anything surfaces that we can attribute (her performance) to. We are proud of her. It is different game going from (racing against just) 3-year-olds to racing against older horses. It is not easy to jump to that next level.”

Kenny McPeek, Trainer of Eskimo Kisses
  • 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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