Trainer Todd Pletcher will have two of his many talented sophomores on
display in the 1 1/16-mile Gotham: Dogwood
Stable’s Raconteur and Zayat
Stables’ Dan and Sheila. Dan
and Sheila, a More Than Ready colt, exits an impressive effort in the Grade 3
LeComte at the Fair Grounds on January 21, in which he was three-wide around
the first turn and rallied from 12th to finish fourth to Mr. Bowling
in his second start.
“I thought he ran a very respectable race at the Fair
Grounds,” said Pletcher’s assistant, Michael McCarthy. “Once
Johnny [Velazquez] was able to wheel him outside, he was able to start picking
up horses. He finished up strong, and galloped out well. Obviously some
seasoning will do him some good.”
After going 0-for-5 as a 2-year-old, Raconteur
broke his maiden over the Big A’s inner track on January 2 and four weeks
later followed that up with a three-quarter-length victory in a one mile,
70-yard optional claimer.
“It’s taken him a little while to come around,” said
McCarthy. “Obviously he’s put together some decent races
back-to-back. It might be a little bit of a tall order at the moment, but I
think he deserves a shot to be in there. We know he likes the racetrack; maybe
he can come and mow them down late.”
Pletcher will also be represented in the Top Flight with Love and Pride, seven lengths the best in
the Affectionately last time out, and in the Tom Fool with last year’s
winner, Repole Stable’s Calibrachoa.
“Pace makes a big difference for her,” said McCarthy of
Love and Pride. “You can see every time she can go :48 and change, with
those 12-second eighths, she’s always right there at the end.”
Calibrachoa, who won three straight stakes after being claimed by Mike
Repole for $40,000, exits a 2 ¼-length victory in the Grade 3 Toboggan on
February 4, bringing his inner-track record to 4-for-4.
“The horse came out of his race remarkably well; he hasn’t
missed a beat,” said McCarthy. “He likes the inner track and ran a
bang-up race last time. With a horse like him, you can go over there confident
he will bring his ‘A’ game.”
All four are scheduled to breeze Sunday morning, said McCarthy.