It was a busy Sunday on the worktab
at Belmont for the Todd Squad, with multiple contenders for upcoming Saratoga
stakes turning in breezes.
Aikenite, winner of the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on May 7 and
fourth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on Memorial Day, traversed five
furlongs in 1:01.60 as he prepares for a start in the $75,000 James Marvin on
July 22, opening day at Saratoga. Should everything proceed according to plan,
the Dogwood Stable representative will return in another seven-furlong race,
the Grade 1 Forego on September 3.
“He had run steadily all spring, so
we gave him a little bit of freshening and hopefully he’ll make two starts at
Saratoga,” said Pletcher. “Seven-eighths seems to be his favorite distance.
He’s capable at a number of distances, but it seems to be his absolute best.”
Buster’s Ready, who earned her first stakes victory when she captured the
Grade 1 Mother Goose on June 25, breezed four furlongs in 50.04 seconds. Owned
by the Estate of Edward P. Evans, she is slated to compete in the Grade 1 TVG
Coaching Club American Oaks on July 23.
“She seemed to come out of the
Mother Goose in good shape,” noted Pletcher.
Grade 3 Gotham winner and Grade 1
Belmont Stakes runner-up Stay Thirsty, who like Uncle Mo is owned by
Mike Repole, continued his preparations for the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 30
with a 1:00.66 five-furlong breeze.
“Stay Thirsty went well,” said
Pletcher. “Everything is on schedule for the Jim Dandy. He’s trained well since
the Belmont and hasn’t missed a beat.”
Sidney’s Candy, recently acquired by WinStar Farm and transferred to
Pletcher from John Sadler in Southern California, covered five furlongs in
1:01.60 as he tunes up for the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap on August 6.
“It was a good, steady five-eighths
with a decent gallop out,” said Pletcher. “It seems like he is doing well.
We’re on schedule for the Whitney, if everything continues to do well. He’s
been very cooperative with whatever we’ve asked him to do. He’s fine in
company, and doesn’t get overly aggressive. He seems very ratable, if need be.
He’ll go up to Saratoga this week.”
Repole’s Overdriven, who debuted
3 ½-length winner at Belmont on July 1, could make his first start against
winners in the Grade 2 Sanford for 2-year-olds on July 24, Pletcher said.
“The horse seems to have come out of
the race well, and if the breeze goes accordingly, we’ll plan on running in the
Sanford,” said Pletcher.