Ticker
  • Lady Shipman dominates in Saratoga's Coronation Cup.Posted 23 hours ago
  • Stopchargingmaria out-duels Untapable to win the G3 Shuvee.Posted 1 day ago
  • American Pharoah wins the Haskell completely in hand!Posted 1 day ago
  • Heart to Heart takes them wire to wire in the G3 Oceanport.Posted 1 day ago
  • Casual Smile closes from second last to win the G3 Matchmaker Stakes.Posted 2 days ago
  • Bradester snags the G2 Monmouth Cup in front-running fashion.Posted 2 days ago
  • Rachel's Valentina, daughter of champion Rachel Alexandra, wins her debut at the Spa!Posted 2 days ago
  • Beholder wins the G1 Clement L. Hirsch for fun!Posted 2 days ago
  • Texas Red returns to the winner's circle with a Jim Dandy victory over Frosted!Posted 2 days ago
  • Red Rifle squeezes through rivals to win the Bowling Green.Posted 2 days ago

Arkansas Derby Possible for Pletcher Pair

Arkansas Derby Possible for Pletcher Pair
Photo: Oaklawn Park
Top trainer Todd Pletcher has two Arkansas Derby (G1) wins and used the path through Hot Springs to win his first Kentucky Derby (G1) two years ago with Super Saver, who had finished second in Oaklawn’s signature race. His stacked stable will again be represented during the season's headline event with Bartolazzo Stable's Stat and Starlight Racing's Heavy Breathing being the most likely Pletcher starters in the $1 million key Derby prep April 14.

Stat will get an important breeze Sunday morning at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida to help Pletcher make a final determination. The son of Unbridled's Song exits an optional allowance win at Gulfstream March 17 and was runner-up in the Saratoga Special (G2) last summer behind top-ranked Union Rags.

"He's doing good and has picked it up lately," said Pletcher. "He'll have that breeze and we'll see how he does."

Heavy Breathing will make a relatively quick turnaround after finishing third in the Vinery Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park March 24. That was his first career loss after dominating two races in Florida including an optional allowance at the same 1 1/8th-mile distance of the Arkansas Derby.

"He was on the lead in the Spiral and went 23 and 46," said Pletcher offering an alibi for that first loss. "It looks like that was pretty ambitious on the front-end."

As has become typical, Pletcher is mapping a course for several top 3-year-olds over the next three weeks of Derby preps. He sends El Padrino in the Florida Derby (G1) March 31 and Gemologist in the Wood Memorial (G1), both with million-dollar purses. Those results could affect if Stat and Heavy Breathing are indeed the Oaklawn raiders.

Pletcher also added Wait Til Dawn, the 3-year-old filly winner of the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs may make the trip for the $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (G2) on April 11 at the start of the Racing Festival of the South.

 

 

 

comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Related Stories

Top Stories