Any difference of opinion concerning Itsmyluckyday
’s future was
settled rather emphatically Saturday in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park
Coming off a troubled fifth on turf in the Dania Beach Stakes at
Gulfstream on Dec. 15, Itsmyluckyday distinguished himself in the
country’s first Derby of 2013, dominating his five rivals over the main
track by 6 ¾ lengths under jockey Paco Lopez.
“This horse has been training great. Paco thinks this horse is
better on the turf and still thinks he’s better on the turf,” trainer
Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “I have a problem with that. I know how good he’s
been training. He loves the dirt.”
In Saturday’s one-mile stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds,
Itsmyluckday stamped himself as a main-track attraction and an exciting
prospect for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
“I don’t get Derby Fever until at least April,” said Plesa after the
son of Lawyer Ron ran a mile in a strong 1:34.39 while pulling away to
his fourth victory in eight starts.
Itsmyluckday settled in fourth on the backstretch run of the
one-turn stakes before making a move on the Undrafted, who had set swift
fractions of :21.93 and :24.18 for the first half-mile. The
Kentucky-bred colt challenged for the lead on the turn into the stretch
before sweeping past the tiring Undrafted and lengthening his lead to
“When I looked up at the fractions, I was somewhat concerned, but he
just kept on going,” said Plesa, whose colt was the 3-1 third choice in
the betting. “I’m very pleased with his effort.”
Sr. Quisqueyano, the 5-2 second choice ridden by Joel Rosario, raced
just behind the leaders throughout the race and finished second, 5 ½
lengths ahead of
Undrafted, who held third by eight lengths under John Velazquez. Star
Contender, the 8-5 favorite who had never run on a dirt surface, was
never a factor while finishing last.
Itsmyluckday, who is owned by Plesa’s wife, Laurie, and the Trilogy
Stable, earned $60,000 for his sharp effort, upping his earnings to
“We’ll evaluate what our options are. You’ve got the next race here
(Grade 3 $400,000 Holy Bull) and you’ve got another one at Tampa (Grade 3
$250,000 Sam Davis on Feb. 2). The main thing is: he’s had a full
schedule. Let’s see how he comes out of this race and we’ll go from
The $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) on Jan 26 gained a strong candidate in
Saturday’s seventh race when Bradester defeated a strong field of
entry-level allowance runners by 1 ¾ lengths as the even-money favorite.
Ridden by Jose Lezcano, Bradester stalked the pace set by Good
Tickled and pressed by Gunderman along the backstretch and around the
turn before driving to victory in the 1 1/16-mile stakes for
“He’s a nice horse. We’ve always liked him a lot,” said trainer
Eddie Kenneally after the son of Lion Heart collected his second victory
in three starts. “He won last time over a distance of ground and he ran
well again today. He has a lot of stamina, so distance isn’t going to
be a problem for him.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher unveiled an imposing 3-year-old prospect in
Tuesday’s second race, saddling Verrazano for a brilliant 7 3/4-length
triumph in his career debut. The 3-year-old son of More Than Ready is a
half-brother to El Padrino, whom Pletcher saddled for a victory in the
Risen Star (G1) and an off-the-board finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1)
“El Padrino is a very good horse, but this colt is even more impressive,” Pletcher said.
Let’s Go Stable, who owns El Padrino, also campaigns Verrazano, who
stalked the pace before romping away from his competition under jockey
John Velazquez. The Kentucky-bred colt ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.48.