Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
After bypassing the Preakness, trainer Todd Pletcher has a deep group of contenders for Belmont Stakes 2013.
“We have a few candidates, but we haven’t firmed up the lineup just yet,” said Pletcher. “Overanalyze breezed this morning
[four furlongs in 47.50 seconds over the training track] and breezed well. We are planning to run him. We breezed
Palace Malice [four furlongs in 47.49, training track] and talked to [Cot]
Campbell [of Dogwood Stable]. We plan to run him.
Revolutionary will have two
breezes starting next Sunday. We plan to run him. Mike Repole is going
to be the key to how many other horses we run. He has several
possibilities [in addition to Overanalyze].
Unlimited Budget breezed this morning [four furlongs in 49.07, training track], and she is possible.
Micromanage is here and will breeze next Sunday, and we’ll make a decision after that.”
WinStar Farm’s Revolutionary, winner of the Grade 3 Withers in
February at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in March
at Fair Grounds, was Pletcher’s
highest finisher in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, reporting home third,
beaten 3 ½ lengths by Orb. Overanalyze, victorious in the Grade 1
Arkansas Derby in April at Oaklawn, was 11th in the Derby, with Grade 1 Blue Grass runner-up Palace Malice tiring
to 12th after setting a fast pace.
Unlimited Budget, third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 3,
would be attempting to emulate Rags to Riches, who in 2007 became the
first filly since 1905 to win the
Rags to Riches is Pletcher’s only Belmont Stakes winner to date.
Micromanage is exiting a neck victory in an optional claimer on May 11
Pletcher is a former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne
Lukas, who on Saturday picked up his sixth Preakness victory when he
sent out Oxbow to a front-running
win under Gary Stevens.
“I was very happy for Wayne and Gary; it was a tremendous accomplishment for both of them,” said Pletcher. “I thought
Gary rode a very, very smart race and took advantage of the pace scenario, and the horse delivered a big performance.”
Before the Belmont Stakes, Pletcher will have the chance to take down a few graded stakes on Memorial Day, May 27, at
Park. The day’s featured race is the Grade 1, $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap, and Pletcher is expected to run
Cross Traffic and Discreet Dancer in the one-mile event for 3-year-olds and up.
Cross Traffic will enter the Met Mile off a hard-fought second to Flat Out in the Grade 3 Westchester on April 27 at
Belmont, while Discreet Dancer is exiting a third in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on April 6 at Aqueduct.
“It’s pretty rare that you see a horse who has come that far in
such a short time,” said Pletcher of GoldMark Farm’s Cross Traffic. “He
was an unraced 4-year-old at
the start of the year. He ran a huge race in the Westchester. He just lost to a tough, seasoned veteran who seems to love
Belmont. We were very pleased with his race, and he’s doing just as well or even better than he came into [the
“The Carter came up a very fast race,” said Pletcher of Discreet
Dancer, an E. Paul Robsham Stables homebred. “He won the mile race at
Gulfstream, and we think the mile
suits him well. He’s coming up to it in good order, so we’re excited
about his chances as well.”
Pletcher added that he plans to run
Kauai Katie in the Grade 1 Acorn on the Met Mile undercard. In the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares, Pletcher will run
Disposablepleasure, with Authenticity listed as possible.
“I’m keeping an eye on the Phipps with Authenticity, if it comes
up a short field,” said Pletcher. “I’m just seeing how quickly she
bounces back [off her win in the
Grade 2 La Troienne on May 3 at Churchill Downs], but she’s doing well.
I’d say she’s about 50-50 at this moment.”
Pletcher said all of his contenders for Memorial Day stakes will breeze on Tuesday, pending weather.