Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Cove Blue, Cosmic Burst & Some “Horses to Watch”

(Dale Romans trains Cove Blue / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

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. Cosmic Burst, a 3YO Violence filly out of the Ghostzapper mare Peggy Ring, is a Pennsylvania-bred. Yet, she runs like the wind against all kinds, from all states. So far in her career, she has put up a record of 4-2-1 in just 8 starts, and is coming off a win in the G3 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn; a fourth to the likes of Sassy Sienna and Wonder Gadot in the G3 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn; and a second to the highly-regarded She’s a Julie in the G3 Iowa Oaks. This morning, the filly — trained by Donnie Von Hemel — went a half mile at Churchill Downs in a leisurely :52.80. That rated 52 of 56 to go that distance. Just a maintenance move.
  2. Cove Blue, a brilliantly-fast 3YO colt by Ghostzapper, has put up 2 wins in 5 starts this year, including a victory in an allowance event at Churchill Downs on May 28 in his last start. He caught a little bit of a break after that, but he is gearing back up now for trainer Dale Romans. In just his second morning move since the race and his first in a month, Cove Blue went a half mile in a spectacular :47.40 this morning. The coat was shinning. So was the time. It was the bullet move of 56. Watch out. Guy is quick. (We’re talking the colt; not Dale!)
  3. Finess Bere — a French-bred 3YO filly trained by Bob Baffert, but left here in KY for the summer — has not raced since she was 8th in the G1 Santa Anita Oaks in April and then 6th in the G3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 16. But she got her third work since the last race this morning, going a half mile in :49.40. That was 10th best of 56. It will be interesting to see where this one shows up next. She won her first two career starts across the pond last summer, but has not been better than 4th in five tries since being shipped to NA.
  4. Holdonaminit, is a 2YO filly by Liaison and is a Louisiana-bred. That’s about all we know at this juncture. Except one other thing. This gal has some run. She worked at the Churchill Downs’ training track this morning and went a half mile in a brisk :47.60. From the gate. That was the bullet move out of the day, for sure and it was the third nice move in a row. If you are looking for one that may have some early pop, put this one in your Virtual Stable. Now.

If anything can be taken away from a sting of a Triple Crown horse retiring, it’s a horse like this,” Smith said. “He is an incredible horse. Really, really proud of him. Bob [trainer Bob Baffert] had him ready. To come off the bench at a mile and an eighth, Bob is just a tremendous trainer. I felt very confident that I could be aggressive early and move a little early.”

“He is still learning as well,” said Smith. “Although he has raced, he had a lot of time off. He got to looking around, looking at the tracks and gawking around and I had a really good hold of him today and I didn’t really want to bother anyone. The last time I rode him we got disqualified [San Felipe Stakes] of course. I picked his head up, and when I asked him to finish he really got underneath me and really galloped out really well.”

Mike Smith, Rider of the winner McKinzie
  • 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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean