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Pletcher Seeks Stakes Double at Churchill

Trainer Todd Pletcher will attempt to sweep the two 3-year-old turf stakes on Saturday night at Churchill Downs when he sends out Finale in the Commonwealth Turf (GIII) and Peace Preserver in the Mrs. Revere (GII).

 

Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Finale enters the Commonwealth off a sixth-place finish in the Hawthorne Derby (GIII) over a turf course labeled as “soft.” Prior to that race, he ran 10th in the Equalize at Saratoga in his first start of 2012.

 

“Finale was one of the many horses that ran at Hawthorne under adverse conditions – a driving rainstorm and very soft turf,” Pletcher said. “I thought, considering he probably didn’t love the going, he ran pretty well. Hopefully the third start off the layoff will be his best one.”

 

Finale will be ridden by John Velazquez and break from post four.

 

Alto Racing LLC’s Peace Preserver also will have Velazquez aboard Saturday night. A bay daughter of War Front, Peace Preserver exits a 6 ½-length victory in the Pebbles at Belmont Park. 

 

“We thought Peace Preserver was pretty impressive when she won the Pebbles,” Pletcher said. “She seems to really be catching her best form right now and maturing and learning to settle in her races.”

 

Peace Preserver ran with blinkers in three of her first four races of 2012. Since removing the blinkers for her allowance score at Monmouth in July, Peace Preserver has two wins and two seconds in four starts.

 

“The key was getting her to relax and part of that was taking the blinkers off,” Pletcher said. “I think that was helpful in getting her off the bridle in the first part of the race.”

 

The Commonwealth Turf will be run as Race 7 on Saturday night at 7:32 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Mrs. Revere will go as Race 9 at 8:36 p.m.


 

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