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Pletcher Runners Ready for Gotham Day

Raconteur, winner of two straight on the inner track, completed major preparations for the Gotham with a 48.89 four-furlong breeze on the Belmont training track on Sunday.


Owned by Dogwood Stable, Raconteur went in company with Mike Repole’s Calibrachoa, who will attempt to remain unbeaten in five stakes starts on the inner track when he defends his title in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap at six furlongs.


“I thought it was a decent move today; I was pleased with what I saw,” said Michael McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, of Raconteur’s work. “He got into a nice rhythm and maintained it throughout the work, and he galloped out well.”


McCarthy also expressed satisfaction with the drill posted by Calibrachoa, who repeated in the Grade 3 Toboggan on February 4.


“The horse seemed to come out of the Toboggan in decent order,” said McCarthy. “He worked nicely today. He’s on schedule.”


Green Hills Farm’s Love and Pride, victorious in the Affectionately on January 29, was also on the worktab, breezing four furlongs in 50.55 as she tunes up for Saturday’s Top Flight.


“She does not need a lot,” said McCarthy. “She got over the racetrack well, galloped out well, and came back in good order.”


The stable’s other Gotham contender, Grade 3 LeComte fourth-place finisher Dan and Sheila, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.92 on Sunday at Palm Meadows, quickest of 29 moves at the distance. The Zayat Stables color-bearer is expected to arrive in New York on Wednesday, McCarthy said.


Additional New York-based Gotham workers were Hardened Wildcat (five furlongs in 1:02 at Belmont), King and Crusader (five furlongs in a bullet 1:01.30 at Aqueduct), and My Adonis (five furlongs in 1:01.32 at Aqueduct).


On the worktab in Florida was Two-Year-Old Champion Male Hansen, who worked five furlongs, handily, in 1:00.95 at Gulfstream for trainer Michael Maker and owners Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing.


In addition to Hardened Wildcat, Andrew Byrnes, stakes coordinator for The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), added Suns Out Guns Out and Went the Day Well to the list of Gotham probables. Chief Energy is no longer under consideration for the race.




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