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Turbulent Descent Leads Pletcher Work Brigade

Turbulent Descent Ballerina

It was a busy morning at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Todd Pletcher, who was on hand to oversee a number of horses work in preparation for upcoming stakes.

 

Among them was multiple Grade 1 winner Turbulent Descent, who went a half-mile in 50.50 seconds for a likely start in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont.

 

Following her victory in the Grade 1 Ballerina – her first start for Pletcher and owners Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith – Pletcher weighed training Turbulent Descent up to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on November 2 at Santa Anita Park, but said Sunday the 6 ½-furlong Gallant Bloom could be beneficial.

 

“We’ll enter her and Mildly Offensive in the Gallant Bloom, and we might run both,” said the trainer. “There will still be six weeks to the Breeders’ Cup, which is a long time. The thinking is that she might be a little sharper for having a race.”

 

Also on the Oklahoma training track worktab was Stay Thirsty, who breezed a half-mile in 50.22 as he points toward a possible return engagement on September 29 in the Grade 1 TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup, a race in which he finished third in 2011.

 

In his most recent outing, the 4-year-old Bernardini colt ran fifth, just over four lengths behind winner To Honor and Serve, in the Grade 1 Woodward on September 1 at Saratoga. He also was fifth, beaten 13 ½ lengths, behind winner Mucho Macho Man in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap on July 7 at Belmont.

 

“The Woodward wasn’t quite as good of a race as he was touting us, but it was a better race than the Suburban,” said Pletcher of the Repole Stable color-bearer. “There are a few things we can adjust, such as the riding style. He was in tight quarters late, and Javier [Castellano] got the stick knocked out of his hand and didn’t get to ride the way he wanted to the last part of the race. It didn’t cost us the win, but it might have cost us third. We can hope for another step forward.”

 

Rule, sixth in the Woodward, also breezed a half-mile in 49.33, but Pletcher said the 5-year-old son of Roman Ruler will most likely bypass the TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup.

 

Love and Pride, upset winner of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on August 26 at the Spa, worked a half-mile in 49.70 as she points to either the Grade 1, 1 1/8-mile Beldame on September 29 or the Grade 1 Zenyatta at 1 1/16 miles the same day at Santa Anita Park.

 

“Right now, I’m leaning towards the Zenyatta because it’s a two-turn race,” said Pletcher. “But we won’t make that decision until closer to the race.”

 

Two of Pletcher’s promising juveniles worked in company, with Archwarrior and Micromanage going head-to-head in 50.42 for a half-mile as their connections mull the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne on October 6.

 

Owned by Alto Racing, Archwarrior was a 3 ¼-length maiden winner in a six-furlong race on August 30 at Saratoga, while Repole Stable’s Micromanage came home a five-length victor on September 1 going seven furlongs. 

 

“I liked both horses’ works,” said Pletcher. “They’re both under consideration for the Champagne. They will ship to Belmont this week and we’ll see how they continue to train, and how aggressive in their approach their owners want to be.”

 

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