Following an eventful Saturday
afternoon, all was quiet late Sunday morning at trainer Todd Pletcher’s corner
of the Saratoga
On Saturday, the 45-year-old
Pletcher won his 22nd juvenile race of the meet when first-time
starter Micromanage took the fifth;
he captured the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap with Dominus, making his
turf debut; and clinched his third straight
Saratoga training title, and ninth overall.
Pletcher also finished fifth in
the Bernard Baruch with Queen’splatekitten; fifth and sixth in the Grade
1 Woodward with Stay Thirsty and Rule, respectively, and was
fourth in the Grade 1 Forego with Caixa Eletronica.
Entering the final two days of
the 40-day meet, Pletcher led all trainers with 35 victories, just three away
from matching the record he set last summer, and eight in front of runner-up
Chad Brown. Pletcher also is the runaway leader with purse earnings of
$3,214,869 at the meet.
“We always say our success here
depends greatly on how well our 2-year-olds do, and this year was a perfect
example of that,” Pletcher said. “We started off the meet horribly, going
1-for-22. We finished up well and hope to cap it off with some more good races
in the next couple days.”
Pletcher will saddle Corail in today’s Grade 1 Spinaway for
2-year-old fillies. On Monday, he has entered Bubbly Jane in the Grade 3, $150,000
Glens Falls , and
the trio of Lawn Man, Overanalyze and Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 2, $300,000
Three Chimneys Hopeful for juvenile males.
“You can always expect that when
you come up here, it’s going to be very competitive and hard to win races,”
Pletcher said. “We have an appreciation of how hard it is to win here, and
anytime you do, you’re grateful and look forward to trying again next year.”
Pletcher reported that all his
stakes runners emerged from their races in good order. Making just his second
start since last August, Dominus, now 2-for-2 for Pletcher, won the Grade 2
Dwyer in 2011 for previous trainer Steve Asmussen.
“We haven’t really discussed any
future plans. I would say he’s got a lot of options in front of him now,”
Pletcher said. “I guess anytime you’re successful on the turf in a race like
that, and it seemed like he won authoritatively, you’d kind of be thinking about
turf. At the same time, he’s an accomplished horse on the dirt. We’ll just kind
of wait and see how he comes out of it and how some of these races shape up and
talk to the connections about not so much what the next race plan is, but what
the overall game plan is.”
Owned by Mike Repole, Stay
Thirsty had won three of four career starts at Saratoga, with one second, prior
to the Woodward, in which jockey Javier Castellano lost his whip at the eighth
pole and wound up beaten just 4 ¼ lengths for it all.
“I was a little disappointed,”
Pletcher said. “It seemed like he broke just a little sluggishly and put himself
into a good spot tracking To Honor and Serve and Mucho Macho Man and just needed
rousing. Watching the replay a couple times, and considering the tight quarters
he was in, it might have been helpful if Javier had his stick and could have
encouraged him through there.
“It didn’t cost him the win, but
it might have cost him third or fourth. I have to talk to Mike and see what’s up
next for him. When you break it down, it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t quite
what we expected based on how well he trained.”