Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Good Samaritan, Crosswalk & Nitrous

(Trainer Steve Asmussen trains both Lookin at Lee and Nitrous / 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. Malibu Saint, a 3YO Malibu Moon filly trained by Mike Maker, has not fared well in her last three starts after winning the Wait a While Stakes at Gulfstream Park last December. But all three of her last races have been in Stakes company, including the G3 Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream. She worked at the Churchill Downs Training Center this morning, going a half mile in :49.20. That was the 4th best time out of 10 to go the distance. It will be interesting to see what Maker has in mind next for this one.
  2. Crosswalk, a super talented colt by City Zip and trained by Neil Howard, had the misfortune of missing his race this week at Ellis Park due to extreme heat that forced the cancellation of the card that day. He worked this morning at Churchill Downs, instead, with an easy “maintenance” half mile in :49.80. That was 32nd best of the 48 to go the distance. Keep an eye on this one. The connections considered the Met Mile, but have since decided that sprint distances are the preference. He can run.
  3. Lookin at Lee, runner-up in the 2017 Kentucky Derby and trained by Steve Asmussen, is coming off a disappointing 8th in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in his last start. Some thought that Asmussen had figured out this 4YO when he won an allowance at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. But it may be back to the drawing board yet again. Since the Derby, he has run 9 times with a record of 1-0-1. The third was in the G3 West Virginia Derby last year. The colt worked at Churchill Downs this morning, going a half mile in an easy :50.20. That was the 35th best time out of 48 to go the distance. Next?
  4. Draft Pick, a 3YO son of Candy Ride and trained by Peter Eurton, appears to be a fast-rising colt. He has won two in a row at Santa Anita, including the G3 Affirmed Stakes. Today, he worked 5 furlongs in an impressive 1:00.80 — which was the third best time out of 12 to go the distance. This one was purchased for $450,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016. Take note.
  5. Almithmaar, a 3YO colt by Tapit and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, started off his career with a win and two seconds in the first three starts. Had a bump in the road with a 5th in the last start, but this talented runner worked at Saratoga this morning, going a half mile in :48.57. That was the third best time out of 12 to go the distance. This one cost $625,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016. Watch for his return at “The Spa.”
  6. Good Samaritan, a 4YO Harlan’s Holiday colt who won the G1 Jim Dandy in his first dirt try last Saratoga meet and won the G2 New Orleans Handicap earlier this year, tried a new career path last time out in the G1 Met Mile. That didn’t fare too well, when he ran 7th to Bee Jersey and Mind Your Biscuits. Ran extremely wide in that one, though, and may have an excuse. Limousine Liberal, third that day, came back to win on Saturday at Belmont. Good Samaritan worked this morning at Saratoga for the barn of Bill Mott, going a half mile in :49.71. That was 13th best out of 27 to go the distance. Watch for his Saratoga return soon.
  7. Nitrous — a 2YO Tapit colt trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds, Stonestreet Stables — could be a real interesting one to put in your Stable Mail and keep a watch on He ran second in his only career start to date, but he had all kinds of issues in that one. Bobbled at the start, and then wide in the lane. He looks to be a good one, indeed. The fourth place horse that day has already come back to win by nearly 6 lengths at Indy. Worked this morning at Saratoga, going 5 furlongs in 1:01.90. That was the second best time out of 9. Watch alert.

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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