If you watch workouts on the new TGS network, XBTV, some clichés just come to life. Good horses work good and most look good doing it. Some trainers start works from different poles, some preferring horses to gallop out on the their own after the first furlongs beyond the finish line.

Other, like Bob Baffert, want more. He wants strong energy gallop outs, so that some of his five or six furlong works are more like seven-eighths or one mile. Chad Brown, like Tood Pletcher, try to do almost all works in company, making those matchups important.

All this is, of course, fascinating to handicappers. Watching well-shot video is in many ways clocking horses live from a press box but is, of course, easier. You’re focused on one horse where a team of clockers are catching what they can when there are 50 or 60 horses on the track.

They have to know the habits of trainers, what they want, or even the weight of the exercise riders. Most riders are probably in the 130-140 pound range; jockeys 115-120; former rider turned exercise legend Tammy Fox is probably 100 pounds soaking wet.

Workouts, good and bad, are in the eye of the beholder, and it helps to know the horse in question. Generally, is it a generous work horse, or one that has to be asked for its best? Is the workout intended to be for needed fitness or sharpness?

Watching works is part of my Breeders’ Cup preparation for the Tote Busters© Late Pick 4 prodct that we sell and for my own wagering come NOV 3 and 4.

It doesn’t become the be-all and end-all, but it breaks an awful lot of ties, often turning “leans” into strong plays. Mubtaahhij was a recent example of this as he prepared for the Awesome Again, which he won at 3-1. He was the “other Baffert” on the day.

Anyway, below are my impressions through Sunday and the list is far from complete; real life often gets in the way. The times stated are “official” published workouts, the observations are mine. Credit to colleague Mark Berner for Gun Runner’s mile gallop-out after working 6 furlongs in 1:11.80 on OCT 23.

Works are listed in chronological order. Miss dates are missing or may be incorrect, albeit by a day or two either way. Hope this helps:

ARROGATE 9/23: Had some energy but not same monster gallop out pre-Dubai, but head was down aardvark-like on the backside, which is him. 10/10: Improved energy but still lacking that great extension galloping out. 10/16: Pressed workmate in hand, much better extension but not quite all the way back. 10/23: 7F in 1:25.40, showed good energy, needed prompting late but with another improved gallop out…
MOR SPIRIT (reportedly poor worker) 10/22: Went OK but needed to be asked to finish and gallop out, only oout half-way up backstretch. 10/23: Much better this time, asked on outside going head to head from gate in 1:13…
MOONSHINE MEMORIES 10/10: 48.40 easy 4F, never asked, rider straight up, galloped out well still going easily. 10/29: 47.20, great lead change, finished strongly not asked, rider standing up throughout, excellent blowout…
DREFONG 10/9: Much best in company, never asked, good extension on gallop out. 10/16: Company with Mor Spirit, restrained speed head to head on inside throughout, handily held lead, 1:12 1/5 from gate [Mor Spirit, driving, couldn’t keop pace]. When Mor Spirit asked on gallop out Drefong re-engaged on own, wouldn’t let him by. 10/23: 4F in 46.80, a motorcycle…!
STELLAR WIND 10/14: Broke off five lengths behind mate, asked on turn, ridden out at finish, good extention but under urging. 10/29: Typical work for her, but was in drive to finish up…
CHAMPAGNE ROOM 10/13: Broke sharply from pole! Effortless stride turn, good energy showing speed throughout… 10/27 5F in 59.60 never asked, almost in a gallop!
ABEL TASMAN: 10/9: 48.60, in 3-4 path throughout work [by design?] had good energy striding out well at finish, no gallop out [also by design?] 10/27 finished up nicely at wire but with prompting…
UNIQUE BELLA 10/18: 47.20 blowout from gate (broke slowly in return) eased before finish, nipping bad habit in the bud? (Date?) Effortlessly in subsequent final work…
TAKAFUL 10/19: Ran off early but good finish, good gallop out, needed stout restraint to be pulled up…
BATTLE OF MIDWAY 10/18: Worked outside mate 1:14.60, very good move, cruised to lead outside late stretch, good energy galloping out…
HUNT 10/22: Excellent work way out on course, gliding over firm SA ground, good speed to finish under a pull, great energy [dogs out 20-30 feet?]…
MR ROARY 10/22: 5F in 1:00 around dogs, lug in stretch, very green…
CAMBODIA 10/22: 5F in 1:00, good energy! dogs out! 10/29 nice blowout, good action over course, energetic gallop out…
SEPARATIONOFPOWERS 10/22: inside of workmate, 48.44 showing hard-held speed head to head all, great work…!
WEST COAST 10/22: outside mate in 1:12.40, pushed to reach mate at 5/16s, asked late and on gallop out! [note subsequent work] 10/29 galloped to the lead 3-wide catching mate entering lane…
BOLT D’ORO 10/22: 1:01.40, restrained speed 2-path all, very efficient lead change, energetic gallop out; forget time impressive mover…
WAR FLAG 10/22: 48.89 working outside mate, skips along, good solid work, should like firm DMR, improving…
LADY AURELIA 10/22?: Stoutly restrained speed throughout going head to head inside mate, never let her by, head bowed…
CAPLA TEMPTRESS: 10/22? [reportedly not great work horse] quickened nicely late working inside mate, good move. 10/29: quick, energetic breeze over course!
TAP DADDY 10/22?: 1:01.80 not asked at all, appeared to gallop all the way. 10/29: stoutly restrained speed backside, restrained speed turn, great energy! pulled up after finish presumably left something in tank.
SNAPPER SINCLAIR 10/22?: Skipped along throughout with good energy. 10/29 left lead all the way!
MUBTAAHIJ & CUPID in company 10/23: 1:13 under some pressure late to maintain even terms on inside. CUPID (outside) always looked stronger of team after reaching even terms, good gallop-out…
GUN RUNNER 10/23: 6F in 1:11.80 machine like! (Mark Berner caught mile gallop-out in 1:38.10). 10/29 galloped 2 miles with great energy, great action…
HEART TO HEART 10/23?: 49.20 good, restrained speed throughout, dogs way out at KEE, finished on own, strong gallop out…
OSCAR PERFORMANCE: 10/22: 51.40 ran turn very well so tight DMR should suit, dogs way out, good strong gallop out…
ALLURING STAR: 10/23 1:26.60 Broke off 5 lengths behind mate, asked to finish up…
AVENGE: 10/21?: Restrained speed head to head outside mate turn, restrained head to head outside stretch, strong action…
PARADISE WOODS 10/20?: 1:14 Restrained speed going easily throughout, headstrong filly relaxed nicely…! Great gallop on 10/27 with draw reins
HEAVENLY LOVE 10/27: Stoutly restrained speed outside head to head stretch, strong move… (Mate FLAMEAWAY ket pace nicely head to head inside despite being turf horse)…
RUSHING FALL 10/27: 47.80 KEE Rider motionless, climbing action on dirt by turf runner no knock. Very energetic gallop-out…
IRON FIST 10/29: pretty work, restrained speed 3-path all…
MIDNIGHT STORM 10/29: had good energy all the way including gallop out! Very fluid…
CUPID 10/29: very sharp, finished fast while just skipping along.
SHARP AZTECA 10/27: Fast work 58 3/5 but ridden out all the way, good gallop out but excitable horse, tough read…
MOON DASH 10/27: big long striding filly 50.20 turf dogs at KEE, finishes well late, strong. (style hindered by DMR and large field)?
ELATE 10/28: great gallop, looked extremely good physically second straight day
PIEDI BIANCHI 10/27: good speed inside company work “won” the work, ears pinned competitive filly but on own, generous gallop out, good ½ mile breeze time (?)

Hallandale Beach, FL, OCT 31, 2017