Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Bravazo, Pretty at War, Dream Maker

2-17-2018 Bravazo, with Miguel Mena aboard, pushes to the lead to beat Snapper Sinclair in a close finish in the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

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. Pretty at War, a 3YO daughter of War Front and the multiple Graded Stakes winning mare Plum Pretty, may be a 3YO filly that you want to put in your stable mail and keep track of for the most immediate future. This one, you see, is out of Plum Pretty, who sold at the Keeneland November Sale in 2012 to Mandy Pope and her Whisper Hill Farm for $4.2 million — and she wasn’t even in foal at the time. To date, Pretty at War has raced only one time. That came last November at Churchill Downs, when she ran 12th out of 12. The winner that day was a filly by the name of Deadline and the runner-up was Coach Rocks. Since then, trainer Mark Casse has taken his sweet time with the high priced home-bred and much awaited filly. Today, she got her first published workout since that lone race, and she went 3 furlongs in :36.20 under the Twin Spires. That was the bullet move out of 9 to go that distance this morning. It will be interesting to see when and where this one returns to the races. All eyes will be glued.
  2. Bravazo, the runner-up in this year’s Preakness Stakes and the closest competitor to ever run up against the grand Triple Crown winner Justify, was back in action this a.m. at Churchill Downs. Coach D. Wayne Lukas had the son of Awesome Again out bright and early and he breezed an easy half mile in :49 flat. That was the 16th best time out of 55 to work that far today. It will be interesting to see what path this one will take in the summer time classics, but don’t be surprised if this one does run in the Travers up at Saratoga in later August.
  3. Grandpa Knows Best, a 3YO son of More Than Ready, has raced only twice this year and has not been impressive, yet. He started the 2018 campaign with a 9th place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby, which was won by Quip. He came back to run in an allowance event at Keeneland in April, and didn’t fare a whole lot better when he ran 6th. But this one does have talent, as demonstrated last Fall when he broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in September, and then immediately returning to win an allowance event in November. This morning he got to stretch his legs at Churchill Downs, and he did so impressively. He toured a half mile over the Louisville track in a snappy :47.40, which was the bullet move out of the 55 to go the distance. It was the fourth published work for the colt since he returned to training on June 16. It may be interesting to see if the connections try the turf with this one soon. The sire suggests that he may like the surface switch.
  4. Dream Maker, a highly regarded 2YO son of Tapit and trained by Mark Casse for owner/breeder John Oxley, was back on the track this morning at Churchill Downs. This one worked 5 furlongs in a brisk 1:00.60 — which was the third best time out of 18 to go the distance. In his one and only start to date, this one ran off to a 3-length victory while rallying from nearly last at the beginning. The third place finisher in that one has already come back to win. Don’t be surprised if this one doesn’t develop into one of the top 2YOs in the country before Breeders’ Cup time rolls around. Impressive.
  5. Determinant, another son of Tapit who is trained and owned by the same connections as the one above, worked the same distance at Churchill Downs this morning. He went 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. That was the 5th best time out of the 18. Yet, he was no match for his younger stablemate. And, this one has talent, too. After breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park on March 10, the connections put him in this year’s Blue Grass Stakes — which was won by Good Magic. Was no match for those types on that day, but he did return to run a nice second in allowance company at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. He was beaten by a horse named King Zachary by 1/2 length. That King Zachary has since come back to win a Stakes event at Churchill and may be one of the best horses in the barn of Dale Romans. Take note of this one and how easily the 2YO handled him today.
  6. Lovely Bernadette — a 4YO daughter of Wilburn and trained by Bernie Flint, who won the G3 Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 9 in her last start — worked at Churchill Downs this morning, as well. She went 5 furlongs over the dirt surface in :59.20. That was the fastest time out of the 18 to get clocked at that distance. This one won three Stakes events in a row last year — including the G3 Pin Oak Valley View at Keeneland and the G2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill. She looks back on her game. Grass specialist may mow them down again soon.

We broke a little slow, like always,” said Velazquez. “As soon as we went past the wire I looked for the position I wanted and I got it. Then I sat there and I saw Ryan Moore move on the outside on the backstretch and kind of pushed him out and he came in, and I kind of followed him from there. From the half-mile pole there was really one horse to beat so I put her right behind that one and when I asked her she responded really well.”

John Velazquez, Rider of the winner Sistercharlie
  • 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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