Pluck, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) winner as a
homebred for Team Valor, will begin his 3-year-old season in a $30,000
allowance race on turf at Tampa Bay Downs March 12, bypassing the
$100,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) the same day at Gulfstream Park.
The one-mile allowance event, in which Pluck will break from post
2 in the 10-horse field, is race 7 and is set to go off at 3:20 p.m.
“I am sure that this will look funny to some people,” said Pluck’s
trainer, Graham Motion. “Here we are, the favorite for a grade III at
Gulfstream, running instead in a lowly allowance race at Tampa, but I
think this is the right race for Pluck to start off in.
“He should prefer the more lush Tampa turf over the harder surface at
Gulfstream Park, and he definitely will enjoy the mile rather than the
mile and an eighth (of the Palm Beach). I think he is ready to run well.
Animal Kingdom, the colt he’s been working well with, ran a cracker
first time out for us at Gulfstream, so I feel that Pluck should be fit
enough for a mile race.”