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Discreetly Mine Razor Sharp in King's Bishop

In an electrifying display of speed, Discreetly Mine roared through an opening quarter-mile in 21.90 seconds and a half in 44.11 on his way to a 1 ¼-length victory in the 26th running of the Grade 1, $250,000 King’s Bishop on Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course.

 

With trainer Todd Pletcher instructing jockey John Velazquez Jr. to take the E. Paul Robsham Stables-owned son of Mineshaft to the front, the colt maintained a comfortable margin throughout and hit the wire in 1:23.16 for the first Grade 1 win of his career.

 

Late-running Bank Merger finished second and Latigo Shore closed for third in the field of seven.

 

Discreetly Mine paid $4.10 for a $2 wager as the even-money favorite in the field of seven, and with the victory now has a shot at year-end honors in the sprint division.

 

“Any time you go 21, 44 and change for seven eighths, that's pretty demanding,” Pletcher said after the race. “We were happy to hold on. We basically felt like we had to (go for the lead) the way the track was playing.”

 

After a 13th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Pletcher retooled Discreetly Mine and brought him back as a sprinter in the Grade 2 seven-furlong Woody Stephens in June at Belmont Park. On that day, he finished second to D’ Funnybone, who finished last in the King’s Bishop, and Pletcher kept him at shorter distances.

 

The decision proved wise as Discreetly Mine subsequently won a Grade 3 stakes race at Monmouth and then blazed to an 8 ¾-length victory on August 2 in the Grade 2 Amsterdam. In both of those races, Discreetly Mine came from off the pace.

 

In the King’s Bishop, however, Velazquez sent Discreetly Mine to the lead, beating the fleet Bulldogger to the front. Hounded by the Bob Baffert-trained speedster, with Hurricane Ike close-up on the rail, Discreetly Mine showed a whole new dimension to his game.

 

“The plan was, if he broke well, to let him go away from there and let him do it,” Velazquez said. “He was going well all the way, even though we were going pretty fast. I was hoping he’d be able to give me something down the stretch, and he gave me everything he had.”

 

On the turn for home, the chasers fell away and Bank Merger rallied from fifth and Latigo Shore from seventh at odds of 44-1.

 

After the race, Pletcher said he would give Discreetly Mine time off and train him up to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

 

“Twenty-six days [since winning the Grade 2 Amsterdam], 123 pounds – he’s spotting everyone but D’ Funnybone significant weight, but he was gutsy enough to get it done.”

 

Hurricane Ike finished fourth, followed by In Jack’s Memory, Bulldogger and D’ Funnybone.

 

Discreetly Mine has now won five times in 13 starts. The $150,000 first-place purse boosted his lifetime earnings to $799,350.

 

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