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Breeders Cup 2015

Gotham Next for In Trouble, Surfing U S A

alg aqueduct
Photo: New York Daily News
Set to make his 3-year-old debut on March 1 in the Grade 3, $500,000 Gotham is Team D Stable's In Trouble, who was 2-for-2 as a juvenile including a 2 ¼-length victory in the Grade 2 Futurity in September at Belmont Park.


The 1 1/16-mile Gotham will be the Tiz Wonderful colt's first start beyond six furlongs, having broken his maiden going 5 ½ furlongs on August 10 at Saratoga Race Course.


"I don't know [about the distance], but I feel good about trying it," said trainer Tony Dutrow. "He's excellent; he's really, really happy. I feel the horse is ready to give us what he's got Saturday."


In Trouble has been based this winter at Palm Meadows Training Center, where he breezed five furlongs in 1:02.75 on Friday morning.

Surfing U S A, second last time out to Top Billing in a first-level optional claimer at Gulfstream Park, heads a trio of possible contenders from trainer Todd Pletcher for the 1 1/16-mile Gotham. Also under consideration for the race are Master Lightning, most recently fourth in the Miracle Wood at Laurel Park, and possibly Harpoon, beaten a nose in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis on February 1 at Tampa Bay Downs.


"Surfing U S A probably got a little tired going long for the first time," said Pletcher of the Roman Ruler colt, beaten 2 ¾ lengths by Top Billing in the 1 1/16-mile race. "Aside from finishing second, we were pleased with his effort. Hopefully he will move forward in his second race going two turns."


Master Lightning, who closed out his juvenile campaign with a victory in an optional claimer at the Big A, opened 2014 with a seventh-place finish in the Grade 2 Jerome, and then improved his position slightly to finish 10 ¾ lengths back in the Miracle Wood.


"He put himself in an impossible position early on," said Pletcher. "We feel he's better than that race and should get another chance."


The trainer said he had not yet made a decision on where Harpoon, 1-4-0 from five starts, would next run but said the Gotham was under consideration.

Likely for the Gotham, according to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, are Treadway Racing Stable's New York-bred Deceived, an 8 ¼-length winner of an optional claimer last time out; Extrasexyhippzster, winner of two consecutive stakes including the Don Rickles on December 21 at the Big A; Grade 2 Nashua runner-up Financial Mogul, most recently sixth in the Grade 2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park; Grade 2 Futurity winner In Trouble, making his 3-year-old debut; Grade 3 Withers runner-up Uncle Sigh, and the Todd Pletcher-trained pair of Surfing U S A, second in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park, and Master Lightning, fourth in the Miracle Wood behind winner Extrasexyhippzster at Laurel Park last time out.


Coup de Grace, Cousin Stephen, Empire Dreams and Harpoon are possible.




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