Trainer Todd Pletcher could have a pair
of starters in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Invitational Handicap on August 4
as he has both WinStar Farm’s Rule
and Mike Repole’s Caixa Eletronica
under consideration for the 1 1/8-mile race.
The Whitney would be the second 2012 start for Rule, who returned from
a nine-month layoff to defeat Flat Out by 1 ½ lengths in the Grade 2 Monmouth
Cup on July 7. Last year at Saratoga,
Rule won the Birdstone Stakes and was third behind Havre de Grace and Flat Out
in the Grade 1 Woodward.
“We thought his first race back was very good,” said
Pletcher of the 4-year-old Roman Ruler colt. “We need him to come back
and work well like he did last week. If that’s the case, we’ll go
ahead and take a shot.”
Caixa Eletronica, who has won graded stakes at distances ranging
between six furlongs and 1 1/8 miles, could start in either the Whitney or the following
day’s Grade 1, $400,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at six furlongs,
“We want to survey the fields,” said Pletcher, who said he
would lean toward the Vanderbilt if it looked as if the pace would be fast.
Pletcher said the only horse he has trained with comparable versatility
as Caixa Eletronica was Left Bank, who in 2002
won the Grade 2 Tom Fool and Whitney handicaps in consecutive starts.
“He won the Tom Fool at seven-eighths and won the Whitney the
next time, but it’s pretty rare where you have one that excels at so many
different distances,” said Pletcher.
So what else might be on the horizon for Caixa Eletronica?
“Three turns on the grass,” Pletcher joked.
Pletcher added that 2011 Travers winner Stay Thirsty likely will await the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward
on September 1. Both Rule and Stay Thirsty are slated to workout Sunday.