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Pletcher Has Strong Presence at Big A

Todd Pletcher 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
Although he will be in California for the Breeders' Cup, trainer Todd Pletcher will have a strong presence in all three graded stakes during opening weekend at the Big A.


A trio of 3-year-olds will represent the Pletcher barn for Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Discovery Handicap, headed by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Battier, most recently third behind winner Will Take Charge and Moreno in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby on September 21. The Tale of the Cat colt rallied four wide from seventh to come within a half-length of Will Take Charge in the stretch but flattened out and was beaten 2 ½ lengths. His effort earned him a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 100.


"He gave us a thrill for a moment there," said Pletcher of Battier, who previously had finished fourth in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones at Parx and third in the off-the-turf Grade 3 Hall of Fame at Saratoga Race Course. "I thought that race was excellent. He's a horse who is maturing. He's always trained impressively so we think he has a big race in him."


Also pointing to the 1 1/8-mile Discovery for Pletcher are a pair of Repole Stable runners: Midnight Taboo, beaten a head by Vegas No Show in the Coastal overnight stakes on October 9 at Belmont, and Micromanage, most recently fourth in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby on October 5.


Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 Nashua at a mile will see the Pletcher-trained Intense Holiday, fifth in the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne behind winning stablemate Havana, and Master Lightning, winner of a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on October 5 for owner Alan Cook. The Grade 3, $250,000 Tempted for juvenile fillies is the target for Starlight Racing's Potosi's Silver, a 6 ¼-length maiden winner on September 22, and Repole Stable's Stopchargingmaria, second in the Grade 1 Spinaway and third in the Grade 1 Frizette.


"Intense Holiday just missed fourth in the Champagne, and this will be a little class relief for him," said Pletcher said of the Starlight Stable color-bearer. "Potosi's Silver seemed to handle her last assignment well so we'll see how she handles the stretch out in distance. Stopchargingmaria has run well every time, and this should suit her."




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