Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Bravazo, Miss Sunset, Strike Silver, Proctor’s Ledge

(Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who coaches Bravazo / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

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. Guest Suite, a 4YO Quality Road gelding that we have trekked often this year for trainer Neil Howard, worked this morning at Churchill Downs. Owned by W.S. Farish and Lora Jean Kilroy, Guest Suite breezed 5 furlongs in a comfortable 1:02.40. That was 7th best of the 10 to go that far this morning under the Twin Spires. This one has hit the board in 4 of 6 starts this year, and most recently ran third in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes at Indy Grand. He was about five lengths behind the duo of Pioneer Spirit and Seeking the Soul in that one. Earlier this year, he ran third in the G3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland.
  2. Thirstforlife, a 4YO gelding by Stay Thirsty and trained by Wes Hawley, worked this morning at Churchill Downs, as well. This one covered the same 5 furlongs and did it in a time of 1:00.80. That was the bullet move out of the 10 to go the distance. This one has run in Stakes company twice in his life to date. He ran a nice second in the G2 Mineshaft Stakes at the Fair Grounds back in February, and most recently was fourth in the G3 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows in July. In six starts this year, this one has 2 seconds and 3 thirds. The lone “off the board” performance was in the last race. Very good right now.
  3. Miss Sunset, a 4YO Into Mischief filly trained by Jeff Bonde, worked at Del Mar this morning. The filly covered a half mile in :49.80, which was the 12th best time out of the 24 to go that far. This one has a brilliant 9-3-2 record in just 17 starts and has earned over $818,000 in purses to date. This year, she has been even better. In five starts, she has two wins, two seconds and another third. In her last start to date, in the G3 Desert Stormer Stakes at Santa Anita on May 27, she was second. Before that, she was second in the G1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland. Today’s work was just her third published move since July 27 — which was her first exercise since the last race. Working her way back to you right now.
  4. Shivermetimbers, a 3YO Shanghai Bobby colt trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is coming off a nice allowance win at Del Mar on July 18. It was his first race in nearly two months and it was the type of performance that gave the trainer enough confidence to try this one on the KY Derby Trail earlier this year. After running fourth in the G3 Sham Stakes and seventh in the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, though, he was throttled back and given a little time. Today, the breeze was very nice. He clocked 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat — which was the bullet move out of 16 to go that distance. Take note.
  5. Strike Silver, who appears to be a brilliantly fast 2YO son of Violence after a win on debut at Churchill Downs and a second in the G3 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga in his last out, was back in training mode this morning at The Spa. The colt breezed a nice half mile in :48.55 over the main dirt track, and that was the 4th best time out of 49 to make the distance. Keep an eye on this one, owned by John C. Oxley and trained by Mark Casse. They purchased him for a tidy price of $275,000 as a OBS October yearling.
  6. Bravazo, a 3Yo Awesome Again colt trained by D. Wayne Lukas, was back on the track at Saratoga this morning — fresh off his impressive second place showing to Good Magic in the G1 Haskell Invitational. There have been times this Spring/Summer where this colt has been one of the top 2 or 3 colts in the country not named Justify. At other times, he has been found wanting. But the run in the Haskell was impressive, especially considering that no other horse pressed Good Magic on the front end. This morning, Bravazo worked an easy half mile in :51.60. that was the 14th best time out the 16. Just maintenance now up until the G1 Travers. Which is looming.
  7. Proctor’s Ledge, a 4YO Ghostzapper filly trained by Brendan Walsh, is coming off a fifth place finish in the G1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga on July 21. This one got a brutal trip in that one, though, and should have fared much better, after having won the G2 Longines Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile on KY Derby Day and running a game second in the G1 Longines Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9. I guess she will run better in any race that has Longines as a title sponsor. But today the filly was back in work mode, covering a half mile over the Saratoga dirt training track in :48.71. That was the bullet move out of the 16 to go that far. Throw out the last race. No shot where she was running. Look for a monster effort next time.
  8. Dream Maker, a talented 2YO colt by Tapit and trained by Mark Casse for John C. Oxley, worked at Saratoga this morning, as well. This one — who is a perfect 1-for-1 to date — worked an impressive 5 furlongs in 1:00.45. That was the 3rd best time out of 17 to make that mark over the dirt track. Watch for this one. Super talented. Super.
  9. Gio Game, a 3YO Gio Ponti filly trained by Casse, worked at Saratoga this morning. She went 5 furlongs over the dirt track in the exact same time as the 2YO colt above. This one should flatter the 2YO, as she is coming off a 5th in the Coaching Club American Oaks behind Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou, and a third in the G1 Acorn. In 9 starts to date, she has a 2-3-2 record and over $212,000 in purse earnings.
  10. Got Stormy, a 3YO Get Stormy filly who won the G3 Ontario Colleen Stakes at Woodbine in her last out and now is on an impressive three-race win streak, worked at Saratoga for Team Casse. She went an easy 5 furlongs in 1:02.56. That was the 9th best time out of the group of 17 to go that far.

I was absolutely dancing into the Winner’s Circle. It was so exciting and Joel has been like one of my kids ever since he came from Bay Meadows. We tease each other a lot. We greet each other by grunting and everybody looks at us like, ‘what’s that all about’ but we’ve been doing it for years. So it’s wonderful to win with him. The owners are great people that really deserve something like this.

“This horse seems like he’s more adept at seven furlongs to a mile so I’m not sure he wants a mile and a quarter …

“I could tell my horse had won, but I was so excited in the stretch I thought I was gonna pass out.

“We are very happy with the way our horse had trained for this race, but it’s always scary when you get a look at those Baffert ‘Maseratis’, it pretty much unfolded the way we had hoped.

“The people that own this horse, they’ve got this colt a seven furlong-miler type maybe time will tell differently, but the other colt they are focusing on him going the two turns.”

  • 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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