Todd Pletcher is starting to look ahead to Saratoga for two of his horses that ran well
on the Belmont Stakes undercard: Grade 2 True North winner Bribon and
Grade 1 Just a Game runner-up Phola.
Pletcher is targeting the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at
six furlongs on August 8 after the 7-year-old Bribon rebounded from a
disappointing fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Westchester with a 1½-length
victory in the True North.
“He came back very well,” Pletcher said. “We’ll probably go
to the Vanderbilt and see how that goes, and possibly the Forego after that.
Right now, we are thinking about keeping him sprinting. We felt it was the
right opportunity to experiment with him. If he performed well, it would open
up more options for him. In the handicap division, the races are a mile and an
eighth or a mile and a quarter. We thought he might be suited for sprinting.”
Looking for her fourth consecutive win this year while
running at the Grade 1 level for the first time, Phola raced last for about six
furlongs before making a charge down the stretch and came up just a half-length
short to multiple Grade 1 winner Proviso in the Just a Game.
With that performance, Pletcher is looking to bring Phola to
the Grade 1 Diana at 1 1/8th miles on Saratoga’s turf course on July 31.
“I thought she ran a huge race against Proviso,” Pletcher
said. “We were pleased with that. We’ll probably look at the Diana as her next
race. She was coming home at the last quarter. She didn’t get much help on the
Meanwhile, over the next several weeks, Pletcher said he
will be working with WinStar Farm on the plans for Kentucky Derby winner Super
Saver, who eventually will make the trek to Saratoga.
“I’m going to continue to discuss it with Elliott Walden and
the WinStar team,” said Pletcher. “Super Saver will come with me to Saratoga, but that is
still a while away.”