Workouts That May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Tap Gun, Derby Date, Believe in Royalty, Farrell

(Trainer Tom Amoss conditions the Tapit filly Tap Gun / 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. Derby Date, a 2YO Will Take Charge colt that trainer D. Wayne Lukas dumped into the G1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga last time out on Sept. 3, was back in training this morning at Churchill Downs. This one, who is still a maiden, went a really nice half-mile in :47.40. That was the bullet move out of 39 to go the distance today. If this one shows up in a MSW in September here, then he could take the next step. Watch for his return.
  2. Tap Gun, a 3YO filly by Tapit and trained by one of the most classy guys in this sport in Tom Amoss, broke her maiden last time out at Arlington Park on Sept. 3. That was her third career start — all this year — and it looks like she may be rounding into nice shape for Whisper Hill Farm of Mandy Pope. In 2011, this one’s dam — Quiet Giant — sold to Besilu Stables for the tidy sum of $3,000,000, and she was not even in foal. Whisper All Farm purchased this Tapit filly for $1.4 million at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. So, there’s a lot invested in this family and filly. Today, she went an easy half mile in :49.40. That was the 10th best time out of 39 to make the distance. I really want to watch this one’s next race. Rooting for the connections.
  3. Warrior’s Club, a true success story for the Churchill Downs Racing Club and now a 4YO colt by Warrior’s Reward, worked this morning at Churchill Downs, as well. The colt — who has had a nice 2018 season with a 2-2-2 record in 9 starts — went an easy half-mile in :49.60. That was the 12th best time of the set. This one ran a disappointing 8th in the G1 Forego in his last out, but the two races before were both very handy, including a second in the G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes at Saratoga. Stallion prospect? Gaining on it.
  4. Believe in Royalty, a 3YO son of Tapit and out of the KY Oaks winning mare Believe You Can, is coming off a nice, closing win in the Ellis Park Derby last time out. That victory gave him three now in his 9-race career. He worked 5 furlongs for trainer J. Larry Jones at Churchill Downs this morning, going the distance in 1:01 flat. That was the 2nd best time out of 17 to go that far. He may now be getting to the level where he can rate, and finish a race. If he has learned that lesson? Watch out. Talent hidden here.
  5. Copper Bullet, one of my most favorite horses of this year’s 3-year-old crop and trained by Steve Asmussen, is still gearing up for his first start this year. After wowing the racing world a year ago, with impressive wins in the Saratoga Special and in a MSW event at Churchill Downs, the colt has now been on the sidelines for over a year with a series of maladies. Today, he got his 5th published work since Aug. 22, and he went 5 furlongs in 1:01.60. That was a marked improvement over a week ago and the 7th best time of the 17. Let’s hope this one can get back to his former self. If he can? Great of the sport.
  6. Farrell, a speedster of a filly who has earned over $1.094 million already in her distinguished racing career, trained this morning at Churchill Downs for the barn of Wayne Catalano. She is coming off a 5th place finish in the G1 Personal Ensign, but won the G3 Shuvee Stakes at Saratoga the race before to run her record to 8-2-2- in 18 starts. Today, the Malibu Moon filly went 5 furlongs in 1:02.20. That was 9th best of the 17.

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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