Workouts That Just May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Rayya, Battle of Midway

Bob Baffert trains Rayya

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 well:

  1. Arrival, a 3YO Tapit colt trained by Mark Casse, hasn’t run since finishing 11th in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs last November. Before that, though, he had hit the board in three straight — including a MSW win at Churchill Downs on Nov. 8. He got his second published work since July 17 today under the Twin Spires and it was an impressive one. He went a half mile in :47 flat — which was the 2nd best time out of 43 to go that distance this morning. Keep an eye on this one. We may have not seen the best of this one yet.
  2. Call to Service, a 2YO filly by To Honor and Serve and also trained by Casse, didn’t fare too well in the career debut. She ran last of 10 in a 5-furlong dirt try on June 15 at Churchill Downs. But the filly — who has trained very well in the past — looked like a runner again this morning. She went a half mile in :47.60, which was third best of 43 to go that far. Morning glory?
  3. Italian Summer, another 2YO runner from the Casse barn, worked in company with the one above. She ran fifth on debut at Ellis Park on July 13. This Creative Cause filly cost $130,000 last Fall and may turn out to be a runner, yet. She kept the same time as her roommate above.
  4. Parlor, a 4YO Lonhro gelding trained by Eddie Kenneally, ran fifth in the G2 Wise Dan Stakes last time out on June 16. Before that, though, he ran a super second in the G3 Commonwealth Turf last November at Churchill Downs. This morning, he worked a half mile in :48.40. That was the 9th best time out of 43 to go that far. Keep an eye on this one. He looks to be tuning back up.
  5. Battle of Midway, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar last November before running off to stud duty, has now been returned to the barn of trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. He worked this morning at Del Mar, going a half mile in :49.40. That was the 21st best time out of 51 to go the distance, and it was the fourth published work for him since July 7. This will be an interesting experiment for the son of Smart Strike.
  6. Rayya, a 3YO filly by Tiz Wonderful who ran second to Mendelssohn in the UAE Derby before disappointing with a 13th in the KY Oaks, worked at Del Mar this morning for trainer Bob Baffert. She went 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat. That was the second best time out of 65 to go the distance. This one looks about ready to pop back up in the afternoons soon. With a real purpose.

That’s very, very special to do it at Tampa Bay,” an emotional O’Connell said after Well Defined’s two-and-three-quarter length victory from a charging Kentucky Wildcat in 1:42.70 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth, .26 seconds off 2018 winner Flameaway’s stakes record. So Alive finished a distant third, with the 19-10 favorite, Knicks Go, getting nipped for fourth at the wire by Counter Offer.

“He’s had little things that have happened and he’s grown up mentally and physically, and today he showed up with his game face on,” O’Connell said of the Florida-bred Well Defined, a son of With Distinction by Fru Fru, out of Medaglia d’Oro. “I like this horse a lot and the decision (on what’s next) will be up to the owners (Gilbert and Marilyn Campbell’s Stonehedge, LLC), but we just want him healthy. Maybe the (Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9) – who knows.”

“His rear end slipped out from underneath him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile,” she said, “and he was compromised on early position when he ran in the Mucho Macho Man and got bottled up inside. He’s a young horse who is improving, mind-wise and everything-wise.”

  • 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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