Trainer Todd Pletcher has not maintained a full barn at Keeneland
since the 2010 Spring Meet, but that all changed this fall with Pletcher
assistant Michael Dilger overseeing horses in Barn 26 and part of Barn
Fall Stars Weekend provided the impetus for the Pletcher invasion
with the stable slated to send out runners in eight of the nine graded
stakes, beginning Friday with two runners in each of the Darley
Alcibiades (G1) and the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3).
“We looked at the stakes program and we felt like it would be easier
to bring a whole string rather than keep shipping in and out,” Pletcher
said. “For a lot of these horses, it will be their first time on
Polytrack, so we are cautiously optimistic. We looked at the pedigrees
to see who we thought might fit.”
Pletcher has runners in all seven races this weekend that are “Win
and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be
contested November 2-3 at Santa Anita. To date, Pletcher has four horses
that have earned Breeders’ Cup berths: Shanghai Bobby (Grey Goose Juvenile), Love and Pride (Ladies’ Classic), Turbo Compressor (Turf) and Turbulent Descent (Filly & Mare Sprint).
Traditionally strong with 2-year-olds, Pletcher won the Saratoga training title in part because of 22 juveniles that won races.
“We felt good going into the meet,” Pletcher said. “It was a nice group of horses.”
Three of those 22 juvenile winners run this weekend, starting Friday with Glencrest Farm’s Skyfall in the Darley Alcibiades (G1). The other Saratoga juvenile winners entered this weekend are Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Charming Kitten (Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, G1, on Saturday) and Dogwood Stable’s Slamarama (Bourbon, G3, on Sunday).