Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Combatant, Switzerland, Tiz Mischief


(Steve Asmussen trains both Combatant & Switzerland / 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 their best and ready for a key race.  Here is a look at today’s top works:

  1. Combatant, who ran in the KY Derby before getting a short break from trainer Steve Asmussen, was back on the track at Churchill Downs this morning. He breezed a half mile in an easy :49.80, which was the 35th best time out of 61 to go the distance. He may have run 18th in the sloppy Derby, but he had never been worse than 4th in the previous 7 starts. He will be back.
  2. Switzerland, who has been a completely different horse since he was transferred from the barn of Chad Brown to Asmussen, worked at Churchill Downs this morning, as well. He went a half mile in :48.40. That was the 8th best time out of 61 to go that far. Since moving barns, this son of Speightstown has won 4 in a row for Woodford Thoroughbreds, including the G3 Maryland Sprint. Watch out for this one. He may have another gear left, yet.
  3. Arklow, a 4YO son of Arch who won the G2 American Turf at Churchill Downs last May and has since returned this year to run 2nd in the G2 Muniz Memorial at the Fair Grounds and 4th in the G1 Old Forester Turf Classic in Louisville, worked on the grass at Churchill Downs this morning. He went the half mile distance in :50.60, which was 5th of 5 to go. All of the rest to work over the sod were from the barn of Brad Cox, as well. Will Call led the group with a time of :48.60. Sassy Sienna, a talented 3YO filly, went in :48.80. Mr. Misunderstood, who loves this course, went in :50.20. Beyond Blame, another talented 3YO filly, went in :48.80. The dogs were up.
  4. Tiz Mischief, another talented 3YO in the barn of Dale Romans, worked 5 furlongs at Churchill Downs this a.m. He went the distance in 1:01 flat. That was the 5th best time out of 31 to go the distance. This one has not been the same since running 3rd in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park back in February. In fact, Romans even tried him on the turf for the first time in the G2 American Turf on Derby Day. That didn’t work out too well, as he ran 14th. Drawing board time for this talented runner.

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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