MARYJEAN worked five furlongs today at Hawthorne in 1:01 flat. It was the fastest work of the day at that distance so it earned a “bullet”. A bullet is the black circle that you see next to a workout in the past performances which indicates, not to be repetitive but, the fastest work of the day at that distance. Now if only two horses worked it doesn’t mean much but in a group of 20, like she was today, that’s relatively impressive.
Timed workouts are used to keep a horse in condition between races. An horse in condition will work every week to ten days and should cover ground at a rate of about 12 seconds a furlong – or a minute for five. This is just a rough guide and varies from track to track. Our girl went in 1:01 but was the fastest of the day which indicates the time was perfectly fine.
To a trainer it’s not really how quick the work was but HOW the horse did it. If the she was all out to get the time and came back winded and exhausted, that would be less impressive than if she did a slightly slower work but came back and wasn’t breathing hard enough to blow out a candle. Additionally, trainers want different things out of each work. Maybe she’ll work in company (with another horse) and learn to race in close quarters, or how to close on an opponent or learn to run pinned next to the rail? There are a lot of reasons a work may not be the fastest but the trainer will still deem it a success.
Our girl went well today and Clay was impressed. I think his goal was to see what he has under the hood and that mission was accomplished. Look for her to travel to Minnesota toward the end of next week when we’ll get some pictures and maybe some video up on line.