Trainer Todd Pletcher appears to have a loaded hand for next
week’s Heineken Holidayfest, with possible starters in five of the six
Thanksgiving Week graded stakes.
In the Grade 3, $150,000 Fall Highweight Handicap on
Thanksgiving Day, Pletcher is likely to be represented by seasoned veteran Caixa Eletronica, who carries the blue
and orange colors of Mike Repole.
A three-time graded stakes winner whose most recent victory
came in the Grade 2 True North Handicap on June 9 at Belmont Park, the
7-year-old son of Arromanches exits a seventh-place finish in Belmont’s Grade 3
Bold Ruler Handicap on October 27. Caixa Eletronica counts 18 victories from 59
career starts at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. The
horse’s sole win at 1 1/8 miles came during the 2011 Saratoga Race Course meet when
he captured a starter handicap by a nose carrying 131 pounds. He was assigned
133 pounds for the Fall Highweight.
“He’s shown that he can carry a heavy weight and run well,”
Pletcher said. “He seems to be in good form at the moment, breezed well this
morning, makes sense to try. I think the track was speed biased [in the Bold
Ruler]. It seemed like during that little window of time, very few horses were
making up any ground. They had to run against the grain of the track.”
Caixa Eletronica covered a half-mile, breezing, in 49.30 on
Friday morning over the Belmont
Pletcher could have two starters for Friday’s Grade 2 Go For
Wand Handicap with Morrow Cove,
recent winner of Aqueduct’s Raging Fever overnight stakes, and R Gypsy Gold, who was most recently
fifth in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm on October 27 at Belmont.
“They are both under consideration for the Go For Wand if
they breeze well tomorrow and if the field is light,” Pletcher said.
On Saturday, Pletcher is likely to send out 2011 Travers
winner Stay Thirsty in the Grade 1
Cigar Mile Handicap. The son of Bernardini finished second, beaten a head by
Flat Out, in the Grade 1 TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational. Stay Thirsty
has not competed around one turn since finishing second in the seven-furlong,
Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful at Saratoga
“With the way he ran in the Jockey Club last time – we put
him into the race, he set some pretty fast fractions and ran very well – we
think off a sharp performance like that and with seven weeks in between he
should be a fresh horse,” Pletcher said. “Hopefully the cut-back will suit him
well. As a 2-year-old he was second going 5 ½ furlongs, won going six, and he
was a good second in the Hopeful. He’s shown some ability to run well in some
one-turn races and hopefully being sharp and everything, he can do it again.”
Stay Thirsty is set to stand at Ashford Stud in 2013.
“It would be a huge win for him,” Pletcher said of the Cigar
Mile. “For a horse that’s already accomplished a lot, especially a Travers
winner to also show the versatility to win at a mile, would be a feather in his
Pletcher’s strong 2-year-old contingent will likely have a
presence in both the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen and the Grade 2, $250,000
Demoiselle on Saturday, with Micromanage, Delhomme and Violence probable for the 1 1/8-mile Remsen and recent maiden
winner Unlimited Budget expected to
return on short rest for the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle.
“We’ll make a decision after the breezes on Sunday,”
Pletcher said of his Remsen starters. “It’s possible that Delhomme will get on
a plane Tuesday and go to Churchill for the Kentucky Jockey Club [Grade 2,
November 24, 1 1/16 miles], or possible that they could both run here.
“I think they’re comparable races,” Pletcher continued. “The
only difference really is that one is a shorter ship and 1 1/8 miles versus a
plane ride and 1 1/16 miles, but we’ve also had some success for WinStar at
Churchill in the Jockey Club – Any Given Saturday, Super Saver, Gemologist – so
maybe that will factor into it a little bit.”
Delhomme, owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing,
broke his maiden at Belmont
Park on October 13 going
a mile. Mike Repole’s Micromanage exits a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Foxwoods
“I was disappointed in the Champagne,” Pletcher said. “I think we
learned something about the way he needs to be ridden. He needs to be involved
in the early part of the race a little more.
He’s the kind of horse that has a good cruising speed, and he needs to
get into it as opposed to trying to make up ground in the stretch. The horse
has trained very well before and since then, and we’re looking for an improved
Repole also campaigns Unlimited
Budget, a 9 ½-length, first-out maiden winner on November 9 at Aqueduct.
“[The Demoiselle] is back quick, but she seemed to win with
something left the other day and she’s come out of it physically well,” Pletcher
said. “Looking at the calendar moving forward there just aren’t many
opportunities. It’s not something we do often, but we’re considering it in her
Expected to face the
Todd Squad in the Remsen are Frac Daddy, Indy’s Illusion, Keep
the Canoli, Normandy Invasion, Quinzieme Monarque, and Stormy
Budget on the list of Demoiselle probables are Emollient, Listen Boy,
and Watrugonnadoroise, with Giant Cats Eye also under