(Monomoy Girl winning the KY Oaks / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
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:
- Air On Fire, a 4YO Unbridled’s Song ridgling trained by Ron Moquette, is a horse that has been on my “Horses to Watch List” for quite some time. He has raced 11 times in his career, and is still looking for win #1. But he does have two seconds and two thirds to show for his efforts. This year, he has been better with a 0-2-1 record in 4 starts. He was second in a MSW event last time out at Prairie Meadows on June 14. Still, I think this one has a future — maybe on the grass course. He worked a half mile this a.m. at Churchill Downs, covering the ground in :48.40. That is a very nice time these days, and was the 2nd fastest out of 65 to go that far. If this one drops into the MCL division? May be worth a shot.
- Majestic Affair, a 6YO now trained by Brad Cox, worked nicely this morning at Churchill Downs, as well. This one, who has a 8-4-1 record in 19 career starts and has earned over $511,000 to date — covered a half mile in :48.80. That was the 6th best time out of 65 to go. The “old man” won an allowance at Churchill Downs last time out and that gives him two wins in the last three outs.
- Monomoy Girl, the winner of the G1 Kentucky Oaks and the G1 Acorn in the last two and now winner of 7 of 8 lifetime, is undoubtedly the best filly in the world right now. She will put that form on display when she runs next in the Coaching Club of America Stakes. She tuned up for that affair this morning with a half mile breeze in :48.80, as well. And, she really wanted to do more. Sitting on a monster.
- Mr. Misunderstood, a grass specialist for the barn of Brad Cox, stretched his legs at Churchill Downs this morn. This son of Archarcharch — who is 10-2-0 in 17 lifetime starts and has earned over $574,000 lifetime — went a half mile over the dirt track in :49 flat. That was 9th best. Ready.
- Tale of Verve, second to the great American Pharaoh in the 2015 Preakness Stakes for trainer Dallas Stewart, only raced once in 2017 and that was an 8th in an allowance race. His last win came in an allowance event at Saratoga on July 23, 2016. But he is back at it, and he looked awfully good at Churchill Downs this morning. The 6YO horse went a half in :47.40, and that was the bullet move out of the 65 to go. Can he come all the way back? Would be good to see.
- Nitrous, a 2YO Tapit colt trained by Steve Asmussen for owners Winchell Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables, ran second on debut at Churchill Downs back on June 14. But this one is the real deal. Bobbled at the start in that affair and had to rally from way back. Nearly got there, beaten only a neck by a nice one from the Mark Casse barn. Look out for this guy at Saratoga. He worked an easy-peasy 3 furlongs over the dirt training track at The Spa this morning. Went in :38.22. He’s ready to rock.
- Midnight Bisou, now training out of the barn of Steve Asmussen and winner of her last out in the G2 Mother Goose in the initial start for the new trainer, worked this morning up at Saratoga. She went an easy half mile in :50.73. That was 19th best out of the 26 to clock a time at the distance. Maintenance move only. Could hook up with the stars again soon.
- Hofburg, the talented 3YO son of Tapit and third place finisher to the Triple Crown winner Justify in the Belmont Stakes in his last out, worked at Saratoga this morning for trainer Bill Mott. He went 5 furlongs over the dirt track in 1:02.19. That was 7th best of the 19 to go that far. Surely, this one is being pointed to the Jim Dandy / Travers Stakes at The Spa. Yet, he has only one win in five career starts. Hard to imagine this guy in an allowance 1x. Doesn’t it?