Workouts That May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Code of Honor, Pacific Wind, Marley’s Freedom

(HOF trainer Shug McGaughey conditions Code of Honor / 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 well:

  1. Code of Honor, a 2YO colt by Noble Mission and my pick to upset in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before he was scratched the morning of the race, worked at Belmont Park this morning for HOF trainer Shug McGaughey. The colt breezed 3 furlongs in :37.23, which was his first morning move since Oct. 26 and prep for the BC Juvenile.  In two races to date, he has a win on debut at Saratoga, and ran second to Complexity in the G1 Champagne — despite stumbling at the gate to begin. Nice one. Very nice.
  2. Battle Joined, a 4YO filly by War Front and trained by Mark Hennig, has run 4th and 6th in her last two starts — but both of them were in Stakes company. Before that, though, she had won two in a row at Belmont Park and Saratoga. In 5 starts this year, she has those two victories. This morning, she breezed a half mile at Belmont Park in :48.66. That was the 5th best time out of 25 to go the distance. This one cost a hefty $500,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2015.
  3. Pacific Wind, a 4YO Curlin filly trained by Chad Brown, worked this morning at Belmont, as well. This filly — who ran third in the G1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes at Keeneland in her last out — covered 5 furlongs in 1:00.44. That was the 3rd fastest time out of 8 to go the distance. Earlier this year, she won the G2 Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park.
  4. Marley’s Freedom, a 4YO filly by Blame who disappointed in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, was back on the track at Santa Anita on Wednesday. The filly went a half mile in :47.60 — which was the bullet move out of 67 to go the distance. This one, the prohibitive favorite in the BC race, ran 4th, and rider Mike Smith stood up in the saddle before the pair reached the finish line. Not a great day for either of them.

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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