Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Went the Day Well is looking more well by the day

On the surface, being ranked #10 in a twenty-horse field may not seem like much of a compliment, but considering the excellent overall depth of the 2012 Kentucky Derby, this placement means that I consider Went the Day Well to be one of a dozen or more horses in with a realistic chance to become racing’s newest star. And keep in mind, that tenth position is where the son of Proud Citizen landed in my last edition Down and Derby, but the way he continues to impress, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is not a whole lot higher by the time May 5 rolls around.
In his final serious exercise before the big day, the English import worked five furlongs in 1:01 over a fast track with last year’s Kentucky Derby winning jockey John Velazquez in the irons. Owned by Team Valor International and Mark Ford, Went the Day Well was outfitted with blinkers for the first time as he turned in the sixth fastest of the 53 five furlongs works this morning at Churchill Downs. Once again working with stablemate, Crimson China, Went the Day Well started a length behind before going right on by to finish three lengths ahead of the older stakes winner. Trainer Graham Motion was pleased with the move.
“I thought he went super,” said Motion. “John felt that he was better on the dirt here than he was last week on the synthetic (Keeneland).”
I held reservations on Went that Day Well because I really feel he has not run against near the competition he will face next week, but clearly there is a lot to like about the horse with the same connections of last year’s Derby winner, Animal Kingdom. He comes into the Kentucky Derby off an easy victory in the Spiral on the synthetic main track at Turfway Park, so if Velazquez is right, and this is truly a dirt horse, his potential would seem to be very high.
If the Kentucky Derby were a beauty contest, Went the Day Well would rival Union Rags as the horse to beat. I was enamored with the colt when I first saw him up close in the Turfway Park paddock, and judging from the video I have seen of him in the last week, he is looking even better and more filled out now. This actually make sense, as not only does he appear to be thriving ever since arriving to Kentucky, but he is still putting on weight and muscle lost when he went through an excruciatingly long stint in quarantine late last year.
Like Animal Kingdom did, he has turf experience, and a Spiral win on his form before the Derby, but unlike that one, he has dirt experience as well, including a maiden win at Gulfstream Park. Now it appears that he is getting over the Churchill strip well. He also has experience in large fields. In one of his two starts in England, he came flying late to just missing a maiden race at Haydock in a field of 14.
What does Motion think of his own chances to win the Derby back-to-back? “I feel good about him and I feel good about running him in this race. And, I feel a whole lot better after the work today.”  
What does all this add up to in handicapping the Derby? Often the Derby comes down to which horse is peaking at the perfect time, and like his trainer, I am liking Went the Day Well more and more with every passing day that went well. 


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Older Comments about Went the Day Well is looking more well by the day...

He can handle the distance. Just as long he is close to the leaders, he can win.
just checking somthing.........
More embarassment of riches. He's reallyreally nice, in my top 6. (Doesn't get less than that)
Mr. Motion will have him ready, he IS ready! Beautiful colt!
Looking forward to the Derby draw so that can make our final Derby decisions!
I dont think he'll be ready for the Derby, but is def going to be a contender to reckon with all year. Getting better and better, but I dont think hes there yet. However, anything can happen when you have that much raw talent.
I liked him since he broke his maiden. he can win the derby.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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