LOUISVILLE, KY (July 17, 2017) — A few top horses from around the country have worked out over the past couple of days. Here is a quick rundown of some of the horses of note that you may see in a key race or Stakes event soon:
- Sweet Dragon Fly, a 4YO Filly trained by Simon Callaghan, worked 4F this morning in :48 handily at Del Mar. This daughter of Oasis Dream (GB) is a stakes placed winner after her third in the Golden Poppy Stakes at Golden Gate in May.
- Excitations, a 3YO Colt trained by Al Stall for The Fairgrounds Racing Club, showed all kinds of promise in his first four starts — including a nose decision against Girvin and an impressive allowance win at Keeneland. He struggled mightily in the mud on Derby Day, running 11th in the Pat Day Mile, and then returned to only offer mild pressure before faltering to a disappointing 5th against McCraken in the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill. This son of Into Mischief just loosened up a bit at Saratoga this morning going 4Fs in 52.23 breezing. If he returns to sprint distances, you may have a horse on your hands.
- Big Gray Rocket, a 3YO Tapit colt trained by Bob Baffert, worked 3Fs at Los Alamitos today as he puts in his works for his 2017 debut. He went in :36.20 handily and was the fastest of three at the distance. This guy had two impressive starts at Del Mar a year ago, before he ran 4th to Practical Joke in the G1 Champagne in New York. Look out for his return.
- Always Dreaming, winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby, returned to the track with a serious work for trainer Todd Pletcher, going 5Fs in 1:01.16 at Saratoga. It was the fastest of 9 to cover that distance on Sunday.
- Aquamarine, a 3YO colt by Gemologist who was recently shipped to Fasig-Tipton for the Horses of Racing Age Sale, worked 4Fs in :48.75 breezing at Saratoga for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. He did not sell after his reserve price was not retained, and he is now being pointed for some serious races. He recently ran 6th in the Matt Winn Stakes, won by the impressive McCraken. But, before that, he was second in the Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico and may relish a return to sprint distances.
- Lady Tapit, who has run four fourths in Stakes company in California recently, returned to the practice area on Friday and worked 5Fs in 1:00 flat. This 5YO daughter of Tapit will likely turn up at Del Mar and will try to find some black type soon.
- American Anthem, winner of the G2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont in his last outing, got a tune-up on Friday, as well, for trainer Bob Babbert. He worked 5Fs in 1:00 flat breezing. (Note Here: nearly every work in CA is “handily.” For this one to be marked “breezing” is significant.) It was the 8th fastest work out of 61 at the distance. He may be headed East soon for a chance against the big boys.
- Battle of Midway, 3YO colt who ran third in the Kentucky Derby, tuned up for the G1 Haskell Stakes with a 6F work on Friday in 1:12.40 handily at Santa Anita for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The colt recently won the G3 Affirmed Stakes in easy fashion.
- And, here’s one to watch for: Pendleton. You have to read deep sometimes to get the jewell. This well-bred 3YO colt, who is by Giant’s Causeway and out of the Distorted Humor mare Distorted Passion, has his third quality workout in a row for trainer Chad Brown. This one came on Friday at Saratoga, where he breezed 4Fs in :50.30, which was 38th out of 54 that covered the distance. He has yet to start in a race yet, but watch out. Talent here for another would-be star in the Woodford Racing syndicate.