Laurel, Md.—Steven Walfish’s Workin On a Dream, second to nine-time stakes winner Cordmaker in each of his last two starts, won’t have that rival to face as he chases his first stakes victory in the $100,000 John B. Campbell.
Trained by Robin Graham, 7-year-old gelding Workin On a Dream will be making his first start since a 3 ½-length loss to Grade 3-placed Cordmaker in the Robert T. Manfuso Dec. 26. Cordmaker, last out winner of the Jan. 29 Jennings for Maryland-bred/sired horses, is running in Saturday’s $250,000 General George (G3).
“He’d had time off because there wasn’t really a race here for him. The [Jennings] was the one that was in between and he’s not Maryland-bred,” Graham said. “We figured rather than worry about shipping somewhere and worry about the weather and all that stuff, we’d just give him a break.”
Workin On a Dream has breezed twice since the Manfuso, retuning with a bullet half-mile in 47.20 seconds Jan. 28, fastest of 38 horses. He went six furlongs in 1:13.80, handily, Feb. 9.
“Everything’s great,” Graham said. “I had my exercise rider breeze him the two times we worked him and first one he just went a half-mile just sitting on him easy. The last one we worked him three-quarters and I told him to go away from the pole and pick it up as you go and keep him happy, and he never hit him or turned his stick or anything and the horse just had a blast.”
The Small, where he was beaten less than two lengths, marked the stakes debut for Workin On a Dream, who has kept mostly allowance company since his maiden win at first asking in July 2018 at Parx. Overall, he owns five wins, six seconds and three thirds from 27 starts, going 3-3-0 in 11 races last year after being winless in eight tries in 2020.
“I think we’ve figured out what he wants to do and how he wants to do it,” Graham said. “We work a lot on his feet. He’s always had kind of tender feet, so we work on his feet and keep him happy and keep weight on him. He’s a big horse and he’s a little difficult to keep weight on but he’s gotten better and better with it. I think it just started to come together for him, really. That’s the biggest thing.”
Forest Boyce, up for his last two starts, will ride back from the rail in a field of seven.
“We’ve told Forest, if he wants the lead let him have it but if somebody’s gunning for it he doesn’t have to have it. Just let him be happy and take a long hold and let him relax wherever he is,” Graham said. “She says when she asks him, he digs back in again.’
Trin-Brook Stables Inc.’s Forewarned, also 7, is a 10-time career winner with five stakes wins, four against Ohio-bred company and his most recent in the 1 1/8-mile Queens County Dec. 19 at Aqueduct. He also ran third in the 2020 Westchester (G3) at Belmont Park and has faced Grade 1 competition four times, his best finishes being fifth in the 2019 Whitney and Cigar Mile.
Bird Mobberley and Grady Griffin’s nine-time winner Galerio is seeking his first stakes wins, having placed six times including the 2021 Salvator Mile (G3) at Monmouth Park. Claimed for $50,000 out of a runner-up finish Nov. 6 at Laurel, he ran second in the 2021 Campbell and most recently was third to Cordmaker in the Jennings.
Mary Jo Kuehn’s 6-year-old homebred Gentleman Joe will be making his 28th start and first in a stakes since the 2018 Manila. Trained by Hamilton Smith, he won back-to-back starts last fall at Laurel and has run third and second, respectively, in his two latest efforts, the latter coming in a 1 1/8-mile optional claiming allowance Jan. 21.
“He was a handful when we got him, training-wise and everything. He was a pretty ornery son of a gun around the barn. He feels good all the time and I’ve got my son [Jason] taking care of him. He’s got a lot of patience with him, and that’s what he needed,” Smith said. “He’s a happy horse and he’s been running pretty good since. His last two starts, he ran real good. We’re taking a shot with him in the stake, and hopefully he’ll get a piece of it. It’s pretty much the same bunch going back in, so hopefully he’ll run the same kind of race.”
Denis Araujo gets the riding assignment from Post 3.
Completing the field are James Wolf’s Treasure Trove, a last out winner Jan. 30 at Laurel; Marie Trombetta’s Torch of Truth, who beat Gentleman Joe Jan. 21 and Galerio Nov. 6; and Mohan Stable Inc.’s 2020 Claiming Crown Iron Horse runner-up Bobby G, who has earned 13 of his 16 career wins at Laurel.
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
Photo: Workin On a Dream (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)