Workouts That May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Abel Tasman, McKinzie, Principe Guilherme

(Abel Tasman, on the outside, beat the talented Elate two years in a row at Saratoga / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

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. Principe Guilherme, a brilliantly-fast 3YO son of Tapit and trained by Steve Asmussen, was back on the track this morning at Churchill Downs. Although he has not run since finishing 7th in the last start back in February, he got his 8th published work since July 24 this morning. He went a half mile in :49.20, which was the 21st best time out of 56 to go the distance. In his career to date, this colt has 2 wins and a second in just 4 runs. The only time he was off the board was in the G2 Risen Star on Feb. 17. Something must have happened in that performance to cause his layup, but it looks like he may be returning into form. Let’s hope. When he’s right? He’s really right.
  2. Sir Dudley Digges, a 5Yo horse by Gio Ponti and trained by Mike Maker, worked at the Churchill Downs Training Center this morning. Although he has only one third in 3 starts this year, the horse still has a shot at winning over $1 million in purses. Currently, he is right at $900,000 with a record of 7-7-4 in 26 career starts. This morning, the grass specialist worked an easy 5 furlongs in 1:03.40. That was 17th best of 19 to go. In his last race, though, he was third in the KY Downs Prevue Turf Cup. Promising sign.
  3. Air Strike, a 3YO Street Sense colt trained by Phil D’Amato, may be worth keeping an eye on. In his last start — but first since moving from Ellis Park to Del Mar — he broke his maiden and got a huge number doing it. Today, he was back on the track at Santa Anita, and he worked a half mile in a brilliant :47 flat. That was the bullet move of 24 early on. Worth putting his name in your “Stable.”
  4. Rowayton, a nice 2YO colt by Into Mischief and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, worked at Santa Anita this morning, as well. This one went a half mile in :47.80 — which was the second fastest time of the 24. In his last start, this one ran second in the G1 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 3. He ran behind Game Winner, but in front of the heavily favored Roadster. Watch out.
  5. Abel Tasman, the brilliant daughter of Quality Road and trained by Bob Baffert, worked at Santa Anita this morning, too. After winning the G1 Ogden Phipps and the G1 Personal Ensign in her last two starts on the East Coast, she is back in training at the Baffert homeplace. She went 5 furlongs in 1:01.40 this morning. That was 12th best of 18. What a showdown looks to be looming in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Hope they all make it. Could be the premier event on the two days of racing at Churchill Downs.
  6. McKinzie, a 3YO colt by Street Sense who many thought could be the top horse in Baffert’s barn this Spring, is working his way back to the races. In 4 lifetime races to date, he has 3 wins and a second. That defeat came in his last race on March 10 of this year, when he was DQ’d and placed second to Bolt d’Oro in the G2 San Felipe Stakes. This one has not raced since that day, but he looks like he is getting ready. Real ready. Today, he went 7 furlongs for Baffert at “The Great Race Place” in 1:24.80. That was the bullet move of the day, and he easily bested his roommate Collected. Today’s move was the 8th published work for the colt since Aug. 1. Ready. Aim.

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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