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Pletcher Makes Breeders' Cup Plans

Pletcher 615 X 400 Toga

Trainer Todd Pletcher reported Sunday morning that Princess of Sylmar, heroine of the Grade 1 Beldame, Grade 2 Kelso Invitational Handicap winner Graydar, Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup runner-up Palace Malice and the rest of his Super Saturday representatives all returned from their efforts in good order.


Pletcher was particularly pleased with the performance of 3-year-old Princess of Sylmar, who in her first outing against older horses upended two-time Eclipse champion Royal Delta in the 1 1/8-mile Beldame, earning a 105 Beyer Speed Figure.


"Any time you take a 3-year-old and run against older horses for the first time and you're able to win, it's a great achievement," Pletcher said. "When the horse that you beat is Royal Delta, it's an even greater accomplishment. It further enhanced Princess of Sylmar's reputation and took what everyone recognized as a remarkable 3-year-old season to another level. We've been blessed with quite a few good fillies, but certainly her 3-year-old season stacks up pretty well with anyone's."


Bred in Pennsylvania by Ed Stanco, Princess of Sylmar began her career at Penn National and next won three straight races over the inner track at Aqueduct, including the Busher and Busanda stakes. After finishing second to subsequent dual Grade 1 winner Close Hatches in the Grade 2 Gazelle, Princess of Sylmar upset the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, romped by six lengths in the Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks and came home a 2 ½-length winner in the Grade 1 Alabama.


"She's what makes racing such a great sport," said Pletcher. "You take a guy [Stanco] that literally breeds his first mare and gets Princess of Sylmar, who's able to compete with all of the biggest horses in the country, and run against and beat a filly that cost, what, $9 million? It's what's cool about the game, that one from modest beginnings can beat one like that."


Pletcher said a decision would not be made for some time on whether to supplement Princess of Sylmar to the Breeders' Cup Distaff.


"With the way yesterday's races are positioned, five weeks out from the Breeders' Cup, it gives us time to sort out how everyone is doing and how everyone came out of the races," he said. "Hopefully we can sit back and let them tell us what the right decision is."


Immediately following the Beldame, Graydar came off a six-month layoff and earned an all-fees-paid trip to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile with a solid victory in the Kelso, earning a 103 Beyer.


"He broke a step slow but was able to position himself quickly," said Pletcher. "With five weeks and hopefully a good, steady series of breezes leading up to the [Dirt] Mile, I think he has room to improve."


Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice led a trio of Pletcher trainees in the Gold Cup, in which Brazilian import Vitoria Olimpica finished fourth and Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap winner Cross Traffic was seventh after a disastrous start.


"He kind of did a spread-eagle coming out of the gate; remarkably, he did not grab himself or pull a shoe," said Pletcher. "His chances were eliminated at the beginning, so you just have to draw a line through it and stick with the original plan, which right now would be the Breeders' Cup Classic.


"With Vitoria Olimpica, for only his third start in the United States it was a very good race, and we're very, very pleased with Palace Malice," he added. "He showed up and ran a very good race yesterday. Being a May foal, there's more to come, I hope."


The trainer reported that Sunday morning breezes for spectacular maiden winner Havana (four furlongs in 49.88) and Grade 1 Spinaway runner-up Stopchargingmaria (4f, 49.24) over the Belmont Park training track went "very well" and the 2-year-olds were on schedule for upcoming engagements next Saturday in the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne and Grade 1 Frizette, respectively. For the Grade 1 Jamaica, Jack Milton went four furlongs in :49.63 and Notacatbutallama breezed four furlongs in 50.63 in Saratoga.




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Older Comments about Pletcher Makes Breeders' Cup Plans...

RL, BC rules... https://members.breederscup.com/challenge/
It is necessary to be nominated first.
I'm confused- why would they need to supplement her? I thought the Beldame is a win and you're in race

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