Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sprint Champion Work All Week Gets Back to Work

Reigning male sprint champion Work All Week had his first published workout since winning last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint Wednesday morning at Oaklawn. Breezing over a fast-rated surface, and after the renovation break, Work All Week covered a half-mile in :48.20.

Work All Week, who breezed by himself, galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:02.40. The 6-year-old City Zip gelding recorded even internal splits of :12.20, :24.20 and :36 for 3 furlongs. Work All Week arrived March 17 after training this winter in Florida.

Following the work, trainer Roger Brueggemann reiterated that “it’s going to be a stretch” for Work All Week to make his 2015 debut in the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 9.

“He came from the farm in excellent shape, so that’s going to help some,” Brueggemann said. “He looks good.”

Brueggemann had hoped to have Work All Week at Oaklawn at the end of February, but weather concerns delayed his arrival and makes an appearance in the Count Fleet “doubtful,” he said. The trainer mentioned last week that maybe Work All Week could run in an allowance race before the meeting ends April 11. He hasn’t started since winning the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

Work All Week wintered last year at Oaklawn and won both his starts, including the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes. Overall, he has won 12 of 15 career starts and earned $1,357,571. The gelding races for his breeder, Chicago-based Midwest Thoroughbreds.
 
To Tell the Truth

The Truth Or Else worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 over a fast track following the renovation break Wednesday morning, the colt’s first breeze since finishing fourth in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 14. Trainer Kenny McPeek is pointing The Truth Or Else for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 11.

Under Hall of Famer Calvin Borel, The Truth Or Else worked in company with stablemate I’mbetterthangood, a 4-year-old maiden. I’mbetterthangood, unraced for almost a year, was also credited with five furlongs in 1:00.40.

The Truth Or Else was asked for more early speed Wednesday than in previous works. He covered his first eighth of a mile in :11.80, a quarter-mile in :23.80 and 3 furlongs in :36.40. The Yes It’s True colt, who worked outside I’mbetterthangood, galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.60.

“He worked excellent,” McPeek said. “We were sharpening him up. He acted like he needed it, too.”

McPeek said The Truth Or Else will have a “couple” of additional works leading up to the Arkansas Derby, which is expected to be headlined by champion American Pharoah, runaway winner of the Rebel.

The Truth Or Else also ran second in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 22.
 
Back to Work

Trainer Steve Asmussen breezed three of his Racing Festival of the South candidates, including champion Untapable, over a muddy surface Monday morning at Oaklawn. The five-furlong moves were the first works for Untapable, Tapiture and Bold Conquest since they ran March 14 – a nine-day window that is normal for Oaklawn’s perennial leading trainer.

Tapiture, who breezed first, went in 1:03, followed by Untapable (1:01.80) and Bold Conquest (1:01.60).

“The works were to just kind of get them into a rhythm,” Asmussen said Monday morning. “I was very pleased with how they all traveled.”

Untapable, in her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff Oct. 31 at Santa Anita, finished second in the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) in her 4-year-old debut. Asmussen said the Tapit filly remains under consideration for the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 10 or a race the first weekend in May at Churchill Downs. Monday’s work was the first time Untapable has breezed at Oaklawn.

“I thought she went beautifully,” Asmussen said.

Tapiture, fifth in the $250,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) in his 4-year-old debut, will make his next start in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 11 or the $400,000 Alysheba Stakes (G2) May 1 at Churchill Downs, Asmussen said. Asmussen said he plans to breeze Untapable and Tapiture again Monday before deciding on next-race plans.

“No chance on deciding what is best for them until we get in next week’s works,” Asmussen said. “I just wanted to put them into position that we could be honest about what we were seeing next week.”

Asmussen said Bold Conquest remains ticketed for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 11. Bold Conquest ran third behind champion American Pharoah in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2).
 
Street Talk

Oaklawn Handicap candidate Street Strategy, a two-time allowance winner at the meeting, recorded a sizzling five-furlong workout just after the track opened Wednesday morning under regular rider Calvin Borel. Clockers caught the lightly raced 4-year-old son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense in :59.40 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.60. It was the fastest of 37 works recorded at the distance. He went from the quarter-pole to the wire in an eye-catching :22.60.

Street Strategy has won 3 of 5 career starts for owner Dave Clark of Little Rock, Ark., who purchased the gray colt for $425,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training. Trainer Randy Morse said following Wednesday’s work that Street Strategy is under consideration for the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 11, a third-level allowance race or a “lighter” stakes spot.

“I would rather run here because Dave Clark is from here, but we’ll do what’s best for the horse,” Morse said. “The thing about this horse is he doesn’t have the seasoning. The talent is there. He just lacks the seasoning.”

Street Strategy missed most of 2014 after tearing the main supporting ligament in his stifle, Morse said, in last March’s $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2).
 
Finish Lines

The 1-2 finishers from the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 7 worked Wednesday morning in preparation for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 4. Sarah Sis breezed a half-mile in :50.40 for trainer Ingrid Mason. Oceanwave went 5 furlongs in 1:01.60 for trainer Wayne Catalano. … Honeybee third Pangburn will be ridden in the Fantasy by Jesus Castanon, trainer Kenny McPeek said. … March 13 allowance winner Sweet Opportunity is "likely" for the Fantasy, trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said. ... Multiple stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot recorded a five-furlong bullet work Tuesday morning (:59.80) for trainer Tom Howard in preparation for the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 9. … Mr. Z worked half-mile in :50.20 Tuesday morning for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas in preparation for Saturday’s $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. … Hebbronville, third in Saturday’s $100,000 Gazebo Stakes, will be pointed for the $100,000 Bachelor Stakes April 10, trainer Lynn Whiting said. Gazebo runner-up Bayerd is “possible” for the Bachelor, trainer Steve Asmussen said. ... Asmussen said he has no specific next-race plans for multiple stakes winner and 9-5 Gazebo program favorite Cinco Charlie, who was scratched from the six-furlong race. … Friday allowance winner Holiday Man will be nominated to the $100,000 Northern Spur Stakes April 11, Asmussen said. … Javier Castellano will ride The Big Beast in the $400,000 Carter Handicap (G1) April 4 at Aqueduct, owner Alex Lieblong said. Two-time defending Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. rode The Big Beast in his March 1 comeback victory in Hot Springs, but Castellano rode the colt in his final three starts last year, including a victory in the $500,000 King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) in August at Saratoga. The Big Beast is seeking his fifth consecutive victory … Trainer Kim Puhl won a 23-way shake to claim She’sabrees out of Sunday’s eighth race for $20,000. … Former Oaklawn admissions director Jim Cathcart, who retired following the 1995 season, died March 14. He was 88. … Chris Hartman, Oaklawn’s co-leading trainer with 18 victories, said he will be based at Churchill Downs after the meeting ends April 11. Hartman has been a spring/summer fixture at Prairie Meadows in Iowa.

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