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King Cyrus Might Target Hopeful

Todd Pletcher 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who entered the third full week of racing at the Spa with a meet-leading 16 winners, picked up two of them on Monday with impressive firster King Cyrus and Shine Again victress Holiday Soiree.


Owned by WinStar Farm, King Cyrus was an 11-length winner of the seven-furlong maiden event in 1:24.68.


"We felt like he was a horse who would appreciate the seven-furlong distance," said Pletcher of the Bellamy Road colt, who is out of the Empire Maker mare Queen of Empire. "He's certainly bred like, and ran like, he wants to go further. We're pleased that he did everything right. We did not anticipate he was going to blow the field away like that. I would think a stake would be in order; I don't know for sure if it would be the [Grade 1] Hopeful [September 2], but it might be."


The trainer said Holiday Soiree, who was making her first start for Pletcher, returned from her 3 ¾-length victory in the Shine Again in good order and that the Grade 1 Ballerina on August 23 was on the radar.


"We'll keep an eye on the Ballerina, but I'm not sure if we'll have enough time; if not, then we'll look at the [Grade 2] Gallant Bloom [Handicap, September 21] at Belmont," said Pletcher of Holiday Soiree, a 4-year-old daughter of Harlan's Holiday. "I'm very pleased with the way she ran; she got herself in good position and finished up well. We're just trying to get to know her a little bit. Once we breezed her, she told us she was ready."


Pletcher added that Grade 2 Jim Dandy winner Palace Malice and Grade 1 Haskell winner Verrazano would have their first breezes since their victories on Sunday morning in preparation for the Grade 1 Travers on August 24.




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