David Melin and Laurie Plesa’s Florida homebred colt Brave Dave will
celebrate his 3-year-old birthday with a start in the $100,000
Spectacular Bid Stakes going six furlongs on New Year’s Day at
Gulfstream Park as the son of Put It Back bids for a fifth victory in
seven starts for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr.
Brave Dave ran a very good race to finish second a length behind
Purple Egg in the Inaugural Stakes last out at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec.
“I have a lot of respect for Jane Cibelli’s horse (Purple Egg) that
beat us, but there were some things that worked against us," Plesa said.
"First, he (Brave Dave) had to ship up there and then we had a little
bug in our barn at the time and when we scoped him he had a little
mucous. He’s 110 per cent now.”
After a winning career debut at Calder in late June, Plesa took
Brave Dave and his usual summer string to Monmouth Park. Brave Dave
shipped to Saratoga for the Sanford Stakes (G2) on July 22 and was in a
duel for the lead from the start. He appeared to be running a very big
race to near the eighth pole when he began to drift out, finishing
fourth, beaten 3 ½ lengths for it all by Bern Identity.
“All I can say is that he seemed to lose focus,” said Plesa. “It wasn’t really a bad race.”
Following the Sanford, Brave Dave reeled off three straight
victories beginning with the Sapling Stakes (G3) at Monmouth in early
September and then the Birdonthewire Stakes and Jack Price Juvenile back
home at Calder in the fall.
Plesa has one other stakes runner in action over the holiday weekend
with Live Oak Plantation’s 5-year-old mare Successful Song to run in
the $100,000 Ocala Stakes on Sun., Dec. 30 in her first start since
finishing third as the favorite in the Elmer Huebeck Distaff Handicap on
Florida Million Day at Calder on Nov. 10.
“This will probably be her last race,” said Plesa. “They plan to
bring her home to be bred in the spring.” A Florida homebred daughter of
Successful Appeal, Successful Appeal has been a steady stakes performer
for several seasons with a record of 25-6-5-5 for earnings of $357,000.
A three-time stakes-winner, Successful Song ran two of her best
races when finishing second here to Awesome Maria in the Rampart
Handicap (G3) in 2011 and runner-up in the Molly Pitcher Handicap (G2)
at Monmouth this summer.