Workouts That May Work Out For You: Today’s Focus On Sistercharlie, On Leave, Got Stormy, Oscar Performance, Switzerland, Covfefe

(Sistercharlie won the G1 Coolmore Jenny Wiley at Keeneland earlier this year / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

(Oscar Performance worked at Keeneland earlier this year / 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. A Thread of Blue, a 2YO son of Hard Spun and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, may be a youngster that you want to watch in the near future. In the first two races, he has managed a second, but this one was purchased for $430,000 at a 2YO In-Training Sale earlier this year, and looks to be getting geared up for a nice performance soon. Since being a runner-up to the highly touted Curlin colt Current (trained by Todd Pletcher) on Sept. 8, he got his first published work today. Went a nice half mile in :48.33 at Belmont Park — and that was the 4th fastest time out of the 40. This barn normally takes their time with the youngsters, but this one has the look that he may be ready to pop soon.
  2. Barrier Island, a 3YO Speightstown filly trained by Shug McGaughey for the Phipps Stable, has not run since finishing third in the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay back in January. But in four lifetime starts to date, she has a win, a second and two thirds. This morning, she got her 9th published work since Aug. 5. Despite the slow time of :52.88 for the half-mile work, this one is putting in the miles to return sooner rather than later.
  3. On Leave, another talented runner in the McGaughey barn, worked this morning at Belmont Park, as well. This 5YO daughter of War Front is coming off a solid win in the One Dreamer Stakes at KY Downs, and may be headed to the Graded Stakes ranks soon. She was second in the G2 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile on Derby Day this year, and she was fourth in the 2017 version of the QE II at Keeneland. She has already won over $1.065 million in purses. This morning she clocked an easy half mile in :51.12. That was the 33rd best time out of 40 to go that far. Look for her soon. She is worth watching.
  4. Got Stormy, a 3YO Get Stormy filly trained by Mark Casse, worked at Belmont Park this morning, too. This one has won three Stakes events in a row since she was fourth n the G3 Edgewood at Churchill Downs this spring. Today, she went a half mile in :48.42. That was the 8th best time of the 25 to go over the inner turf sod. Sitting on go.
  5. Sistercharlie, a 4YO Irish-bred filly by Myboycharlie and trained by Chad Brown, has raced 10 times in her career to date with 6 wins sand 3 thirds. This year alone, she has 3 wins and a second in 4 starts. She is coming off back-to-back wins in G1 races — the Beverly D at Arlington Park and the Diana Stakes at Saratoga. This morning, she went a half mile over the inner turf at Belmont Park in :48.77. That was the 13th best time out of 25 to make the distance. Class.
  6. Oscar Performance, winner of the G1 Woodbine Mile in his last start after being pulled up in the G1 Arlington Million the race before, was back on the inner turf at Belmont Park this morning for trainer Brian Lynch. The 4YO Kitten’s Joy colt went 5/8ths in 1:03.23. That was the 7th best time out of 7, but this was is fit. In 14 career starts to date, he has 8 wins and a third and has earned over $2.3 million.
  7. Nitrous, a highly touted 2YO colt trained by Steve Asmussen, worked over a fast track at Churchill Downs this morning. He went an easy 3/8ths in :38.40. That was the 4th best time out of 5 for this son of Tapit, who has a win, a second and a third in three lifetime starts. He was third in the G1 Hopeful Stakes in his last out on Sept. 3. Should improve off that one.
  8. Chocolate Martini, who was fifth in the G1 Cotillion Stakes behind Midnight Bisou and Monomoy Girl in her last out, was back at work this morning for trainer Tom Amoss. the 3YO daughter of Broken Vow went a half mile in :47.80 — which was 2nd best of 18. She may not be the best filly in the country, but this former claimer has now won over $400,000 and she can give the top ones a run for their money, too. And, don’t count out Tom Amoss right now. The man is winning everything in sight.
  9. Switzerland, who is turning into one of the better dirt sprinter in the country since he was turned over to trainer Steve Asmussen, worked at Churchill Downs this morning, as well. The 4YO Speightstown colt, who won the G3 Frank J. De Francis Stakes at Laurel Park in his last out and is now 4 for 5 this year under the new barn’s tutelage, went an easy half mile in :51.40. That was 17th of 18. He’s fit.
  10. Covfefe, a super talented 2YO filly trained by Brad Cox, worked a sparkling 5/8ths at Churchill Downs this morn. She went the distance in :59.20, which was the bullet move of the day at the distance. This juvenile daughter of Into Mischief broke her maiden at first asking on Sept. 16, when she galloped off to an impressive, eye-popping 91/4-length victory. Watch out. The girl has some skills.

He rides with room to grow. He’s learning and it’s the first time he rides with the infield open, I don’t know if he saw the umbrellas and everyone screaming that he got to looking at them so much that I had to get the bit out of his mouth to really make him pay attention and that’s when he kind of skirted away and focused. What you’re seeing right now is really just raw talent. He’s got so much room to grow and to even get better, believe it or not. I think this race is going to put a lot more bottom into him. He handled a 1 1/8 really well and like I said what you’re seeing right now is just raw talent. If he moves forward off of this race, which he should, then it’s even kind of scary to talk about.”

Mike Smith, Rider of the winner Justify in the Santa Anita Derby
  • 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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean