2-17-2018 Bravazo, with Miguel Mena aboard, pushes to the lead to beat Snapper Sinclair in a close finish in the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

Every day, we scour the work tabs at racetracks and training facilities all over North America. We are searching for those horses that appear to be peaking at just the right time and may be sitting on a top performance in the afternoons. Some of the horses that we watch and track, you will know. Others, though, you may not recognize — yet. Here is a closer look at some of today’s morning glories:

  1. Mo Diddley, a 3Yo Uncle Mo colt trained by Mark Casse for the ownership team of Gary Barber and Cheyenne Stables, worked on Tuesday at the Casse Training Center near Ocala, Fla. He went a half mile in a brisk :47.80, which was the bullet work of three to go that distance. This guy broke his maiden on debut last May, and was immediately dumped into the Graded Stakes ranks after that. In August, he ran 7th in the G2 Saratoga Special, which was won by the ultra-impressive Copper Bullet. A month later, Casse tried him in the G3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, when he finished last that day to the tandem of The Tabulator and Hollywood Star. He was laid up after that event and has been working his way back to the races. Today was his fourth published work since Feb. 17. He still may be aways to go, but Tuesday’s move looks promising.
  2. Sporting Chance, who was disqualified from third to fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes for veering into the late path of Free Drop Billy, worked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday. He went a half mile in a brisk :47.80, which was the 2nd best time out of 24 to go that far. This one has a record of 2-1-1 in 6 career starts, including a victory in the G1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga last year and a third in the G3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park in February. However, his antics late in races have perhaps cost him better positions, and is alarming — since the bolts significantly when either shown or smacked with the whip. May be a case where the rider is instructed to not use it unless the case of emergency in the future. In both the Hopeful and the Blue Grass, Sporting Chance nearly dumped rider Luis Saez just feet from the finish line.
  3. Warrior’s Club, the shocking winner of the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland on April 7, was back on the track at Churchill Downs on Tuesday. The son of Warrior’s Reward covered a half mile in :50.20, which was the 18th fastest time out of 24 to go that distance. This one is likely to find himself in a high-powered Stakes event on Derby weekend for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
  4. Mia Mischief, a 3YO Into Mischief filly trained by Steve Asmussen, has 3 firsts and 3 seconds in 6 lifetime starts. She has won the Purple Martin Stakes in March, after being second in the Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn Park in January and second in the Spendthirft Juvenile Filly Stallion Stakes last October. She breezed on Tuesday at Churchill Downs going 5 furlongs in 1:01.40, which was the 4th best time out of 19 to go that far. Watch for this one. She may not be up to the Kentucky Oaks, but she is gaining on those in her crop.
  5. Snapper Sinclair, a 3YO son of City Zip who now appears to be on the outside of the 2018 Kentucky Derby field and looking in after a fifth place finish in the Louisiana Derby in his last start, worked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, as well. He went 5 furlongs in 1:03.20, which was simply a maintenance work. If he does not move up the Derby rankings and is not considered for the 11/4-mile Derby, this one may be a perfect fit for the Pat Day Mile or other Stakes on Derby weekend.
  6. Madison’s Luna, a son of Tapit who has exploded on the 3YO scene this spring with back-to-back impressive victories including an overpowering, green run in the G3 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 24, worked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday for trainer Phillip Bauer. The big gray rolled 6 furlongs in 1:13.40, which was the bullet work of 2 to go that far. Keep an eye on this one. He is just now figuring out how to run, and how good he can be. And, that’s impressive.
  7. C Z Rocket, who was a perfect 3-for-3 before running 6th in the G1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita in December, is working his way back to the races for trainer Al Stall, Jr. He breezed this morning at Churchill Downs going just 3 furlongs in :37.80, which was the 3rd best time of 5. This was just his second published work since April 11. He has aways to go, but is super quick and talented.
  8. Gotta Go, who saw his aspiring Derby hopes vanish when he was a distant 11th in the Blue Grass Stakes for trainer Ian Wilkes, worked this morning at Churchill Downs. He went a half mile in :48.80, which was the 14th best time out of 24. This son of Shanghai Bobby won the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs last Fall, and could turn up in a Stakes event on Derby weekend, as well.