Workouts That May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Mind Your Biscuits, Take Charge Paula, Holy Helena

(Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin trains Take Charge Paula / 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. Saracosa, a 3YO daughter of Bernardini and trained by Brendan Walsh, looked like a real good thing in her last out on Aug. 17 down at Ellis Park. This gal — who was a bargain price at $85,000 at Keeneland in September two years back — ran off to a near 9-length win over a good one in Straitouttapopcorn. And, she came from off the pace to do it in a powerful, mid-to-late kick move. In four career starts so far, she has two thirds; a second and now this win. She was back on the track at Churchill Downs this morning, and worked an easy, maintenance half mile in :51 flat. That was 64th best of the 75 to go that far. Keep an eye on this one. Talent.
  2. Fascilitator, a nice 3YO son of The Factor and trained by Steve Asmussen for the Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC, is working his way back to the races. In five career starts to date, he has a 2-2-0 record. The only miss came in the Black Gold Stakes at the Fair Grounds in early March. He has been sidelined since then, but got his third straight work this morning at Churchill Downs since Aug. 19. He went an easy 5/8ths in 1:03.40. That was 33rd of 36 to go that far. He is still aways away, but this one is a runner.
  3. Take Charge Paula, a 3YO daughter of Take Charge Indy and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, was absolutely brilliant to start her career. After all, she was either first or second in 8 of her first 9 starts. But after running 14th in this year’s KY Oaks, she has not rediscovered her best stride. After running 7th in the G3 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park in July, she was given a short break. Today, she got her fourth work since Aug. 10, and she went a half mile in :48.77 up at Saratoga. That was the 5th best time out of the 58 to go that far. Looks like she may be gearing back up for a nice Fall run. Keep her in your Stable thoughts.
  4. Holy Helena, an Ontario-bred daughter of Ghostzapper, has raced 11 times in her career so far, and she has put up an impressive resume — what with 6 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third. She already is a millionaire for the Stronach Stables. In her last start, she was third in the G2 Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine in late June. She got a bit of a rest break after that, and today she got her third work since Aug. 16 — going an easy half mile in :49.66 over the dirt training track at Saratoga. That was the 10th best time out of 20 to go that distance over that surface. Gearing up for the Fall.
  5. Mind Your Biscuits, a 5YO NY-bred by Posse, has suddenly emerged — once again — as one of the best and most versatile horses in the land. Once viewed only as a top end sprinter, he has impressed with his second in the Unhappy Metropolitan Handicap, and a second in the G1 Whitney Stakes to another talented NY-bred in Diversify. Now, the options are many for this guy, who went 5 furlongs at Saratoga today. He covered the distance in 1:00.01. That was the bullet move out of 16 to go that distance over the main dirt track. Wonderful horse.

That’s very, very special to do it at Tampa Bay,” an emotional O’Connell said after Well Defined’s two-and-three-quarter length victory from a charging Kentucky Wildcat in 1:42.70 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth, .26 seconds off 2018 winner Flameaway’s stakes record. So Alive finished a distant third, with the 19-10 favorite, Knicks Go, getting nipped for fourth at the wire by Counter Offer.

“He’s had little things that have happened and he’s grown up mentally and physically, and today he showed up with his game face on,” O’Connell said of the Florida-bred Well Defined, a son of With Distinction by Fru Fru, out of Medaglia d’Oro. “I like this horse a lot and the decision (on what’s next) will be up to the owners (Gilbert and Marilyn Campbell’s Stonehedge, LLC), but we just want him healthy. Maybe the (Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9) – who knows.”

“His rear end slipped out from underneath him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile,” she said, “and he was compromised on early position when he ran in the Mucho Macho Man and got bottled up inside. He’s a young horse who is improving, mind-wise and everything-wise.”

  • 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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