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Micromanage Way too Classy in Birdstone

Repole Stable's Micromanage proved to be an able marathon runner, drawing off to an 8 ½-length victory in the $100,000 Birdstone Stakes on Thursday at Saratoga Race Course.


Stalking an early pace set by Irsaal, Micromanage and jockey Javier Castellano settled into second position as the field passed the grandstand for the first time. Approaching the third and final turn, the leaders began to pull away from their rivals before Micromanage shook clear to win.


It was another 15 ½ lengths back to Slim Shadey in third. Don Dulce, Seton Hall and More Hundred Acre completed the order of finish. The winner covered the 1 ¾ miles in 2:58.13.


"I had to ride a little bit to go for the front-runner," Castellano said. "He did a magnificent run when I asked him. He took off again. I give him all the credit because you don't see those kinds of races, those long distances, and he got it done. He won so easy."


Heavily favored at 1-2, the Todd Pletcher trainee paid $3 for a $2 win wager.


"It kind of unfolded a little bit like we thought," Pletcher said. "We actually thought we might be laying third, stalking two horses instead of one. The main thing Javier [Castellano] and I talked about was getting him into a nice, comfortable gallop, in a nice rhythm."


Bred in Kentucky by Fiona Craig and Dermot Cantillon, the 4-year-old colt by Medaglia d'Oro, out of the Flying Paster dam Catnip, improved his record to five wins, four seconds and three thirds from 18 career starts with earnings of $608,881, including a victory n the Grade 3 Skip Away.


Pletcher suggested that Micromanage, clearly a fan of distance, may add a start on the turf to his resume.


"One thing we've kicked around is trying him on the grass at some point," he said. "There's a lot more opportunities on the turf at these type of distances."


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