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BARN NOTES: February 6, 2016

  • ·        Tom’s Ready Fires Bullet for Risen Star
  • ·        Chocolate Ride Readies for Fair Grounds Defense
  • ·        Untapable Highlights Work Tab



Tom’s Ready, second last out to fellow G M B Racing-owned Mo Tom in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 16, fired a warning shot in the form of a five-furlong bullet in 1:00 flat on Saturday morning at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

“It was very good,” Stewart said. “He was a little sharp early, but he finished strong and galloped out pretty good. He came off the track bouncing and I think we’re where we need to be.”

Previous to his Lecomte effort, the Pennsylvania-bred was a good second in a mile and 70-yard allowance on Dec. 18 over the Fair Grounds main track to cap a juvenile season that saw him make six starts and finish in the exacta in half of those. Despite just a lone victory, he has always been well-regarded by the Stewart barn, even starting in the Grade I $350,000 Hopeful Stakes in September – and finishing fifth – as a maiden.

Moving forward, Stewart plans to give the dark bay colt a similar work to prepare him for his next task on the hopeful road to the Louisiana and Kentucky Derbies – the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 20.

“He’ll work again – another five-eighths – next Saturday or Sunday,” Stewart said. “We know he’s a nice horse. He needs to train like he’s that type of horse. The game is stepping up and he has to step up with it.”

Stewart confirmed that Hall of Fame jockey Johnny Velazquez is slated to ride.

Mo Tom also worked five furlongs on Saturday morning. The Tom Amoss-trained son of red-hot sire Uncle Mo went in 1:01 flat and remains on course for a clash with his friendly rival of common ownership.



Wentworth Brochu, LLC’s Brad Cox-trained Chocolate Ride continues to train forwardly for his defense of the Grade III $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap on Feb. 20. Unlike last year, when the son of Candy Ride was an unknown commodity coming into the Fair Grounds Handicap, Chocolate Ride is now the crowned king of the Stall-Wilson turf course, having won his last five races on it by a combined 9½ lengths – including a track record for nine furlongs set in the Grade II $300,000 Mervin H. Muniz Memorial.

“It went really well – I’m pleased with him,” Cox said. “We’ll probably do a half-mile next Saturday with him and then hopefully that will set us up for the Fair Grounds Handicap.

“He’s probably a little better than this time last year,” Cox continued. “It’s no secret that sometimes his feet can be a problem, but they have maintained – knock on wood – really well since last summer. I’m happy with him.”

Plans after the Fair Grounds Handicap, granted a good performance, could include either a defense of his Muniz title or another attempt at Grade I company at Keeneland in the Maker’s 46 Mile.



Champion Untapable worked a half-mile in 50.80 – her second move since returning from a freshening – for trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Winchell Thoroughbreds.

G M B Racing’s Mo Tom, the impressive victor in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 16, worked five furlongs in 1:01 flat for trainer Tom Amoss.

Multiple graded stakes-winning Stall-Wilson turf course monster Chocolate Ride worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 for trainer Brad Cox and owners John Wentworth and Stephan Brochu, who comprise Wentworth Bruch, LLC.

Grade II winner and newly turned sophomore filly Just Wicked worked a spritely five furlongs in 1:00.80 for trainer Steve Asmussen and breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds.

Maggi Moss’ multiple stakes winner Control Stake worked a half-mile in an easy 50.20 for trainer Tom Amoss.

Three Diamonds Farm’s Roman Approval continues to work well for Mike Maker, negotiating five furlongs in 1:02.20 on Saturday morning in advance of a possible start in the Grade III $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap on Feb. 20.

G M B Racing’s Tom’s Ready worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 flat for trainer Dallas Stewart. The son of More Than Ready will start next in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 20.

Graded stakes-placed Blarp worked toward a possible start in the Grade III $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap on Saturday with a half-mile work in 49.80 for trainer Joe Sharp and owners Robert Persons and Earl Conrad Sanderson, Jr.

Lightly raced but brilliant in her two wins from three starts, Zipessa worked a half-mile in 50.80 for trainer Mike Stidham and owner Empyrean Stables. The daughter of City Zip was last seen competing when finishing up the track in the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 15.

Charles Fipke’s regally bred unraced maiden Forever d’Oro – a half-brother to Forever Unbridled and Unbridled Forever – worked a half-mile in 49.20 toward his debut for trainer Dallas Stewart.

-Michael Adolphson | Media Specialist, Senior Writer