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
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
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
“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.”