Workouts That May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Bravazo, Fluminense, Hofburg, Army Mule

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 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. Bravazo, this year’s version of the Iron Horse and a 3YO colt by Awesome Again, worked this morning at Churchill Downs for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. In 8 starts this year, he has a nice 2-2-1 record and earnings of nearly $1 million. In his last two starts, he has a third in the G1 Travers Stakes and a 2nd in the G1 Haskell Invitational. For all those that want horses to stick around and race longer and more, then this should be the horse that you jump on and support. In two years, he has 13 starts for Calumet Farm. He has a 3-3-2 record. And, the boy tries every single time out. Today, he was at it again. He went 5 furlongs in 1:00.20. That was the 2nd fastest time out of 24 to go the distance so far. He may not be the best 3YO this year, but the boy is surely the most durable and lasting.
  2. Fluminense, a very talented 2YO from the barn of Steve Asmussen, trained at Churchill Downs this morning, as well. The 2YO More Than Ready colt, who has a win and 2 thirds in three starts so far, breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00.60. That was the 5th fastest time of the group. He was third in the Soaring Free Stakes at Woodbine on Aug. 26 in his last start. That was going about 6 furlongs over the turf. Surely, his pedigree supports a grass career in the future. For now? Worth watching.
  3. Inspeightofyou, a 4YO daughter of Speightstown and trained by Tom Amoss for Maggi Moss, has certainly had a good year. In 4 starts in 2018, she has put up 3 wins. The last race, though, was forgettable. She ran 8th in the Dance to Bristol Stakes at Charles Town way back in April. Idle since then. She got her fifth published work since July 25 this morning, going 5 furlongs in 1:01.60. That was 15th best of the 24. But she looks like she may be rounding back into shape. Let’s keep an eye out.
  4. New Colossus, a 3YO son of Curlin and trained by J. Larry Jones, was touted to be a good one early this spring. He made a lot of noise along the backside and many eagerly anticipated his arrival to the races. But…So far, in three races, he has only managed two thirds. The last coming on Aug. 25 at Ellis Park — which was his first race since February. If he can improve on that first start off the layup, though, he still has a chance to be meaningful. This one, who cost $400,000 at Keeneland September a year ago, worked this morning at Churchill Downs. He went 5 furlongs in 1:01 flat. That was the 10th best. We are still hopeful.
  5. Tequilita, a 4YO Union Rags filly trained by Michael Metz, has not had the best of years so far. After winning the G2 Forward Gal Stakes and running second in the G2 Gulfstream Oaks in 2017, the connections thought enough of her to try the G1 KY Oaks a year ago. She ran 7th that day behind the willing and able Abel Tasman. But Tequilita still finished the year in good order. She won the G3 Charles Town Oaks. This year, though, has been a struggle. Outside a third in the G2 Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park in May, she has not hit the board in any of the other 4 outs. Today, she worked at Fair Hill — going 5 furlongs over the dirt track there in a time of 1:02 flat. That was the bullet move of 2 to go that far. Worth watching to see where this one lands next. When right? She has some talent.
  6. Analyze It, a top 3YO grass runner for the Chad Brown barn, worked at Saratoga on Sunday. The son of Point of Entry — who has racked up three straight, tough-beat seconds in a row — went a half mile in :48.63 over the dirt training track. That was the 9th best time out of 60. Will be interesting to see where this one goes next. Could it be Keeneland?
  7. Army Mule, a 4YO Pennsylvania-bred son of Friesan Fire and a perfect 3-for-3 at the track, worked Sunday at Saratoga, as well. The ridgling has not started since he was so impressive in winning the G1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct in April. But he got his third published workout since Sept. 1 this weekend, going a half mile for the first time. He breezed the distance over the dirt training track in :49.99, which was 30th best of the 60. Still aways away, but good to see him back in training for the barn of Todd Pletcher.
  8. Hofburg, a highly touted (overrated?) son of Tapit trained by Bill Mott, worked at Saratoga on Sunday, as well. This one, who was the “hot horse” leading up to this year’s KY Derby after his second in the G1 Florida Derby and then was the “hot horse” again going into the Belmont Stakes, worked a solid half mile over the training track in :47.45. That was the bullet move of 60 to go the distance. In his last race, this one did win the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga, but he skipped the Travers. In 5 starts this year, he has 2 wins, a second and a third. But he also ran 7th in the KY Derby and a non-threatening third in the Belmont Stakes. Time to step it up soon as he prepares for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic?
  9. Sir Truebadour, a talented 2YO son of More Than Ready and trained by Asmussen, worked at Saratoga on Sunday, too. This guy — who has 2 wins in 4 starts so far — went 5 furlongs in 1:01.08. That was the 3rd fastest time out of 12 to negotiate the distance over the dirt training surface at “The Spa.” Be interesting to see where this one shows up next. Lots of chances.

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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