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Big Weekend for Two of Todd Pletcher’s Lucky 7

Tuesday at lunchtime, Todd Pletcher was one of the featured guests on the NTRA National Media Teleconference.  The topic was the “Road to the Triple Crown” and Pletcher said that he has “six or seven serious contenders for the Triple Crown races.” He did not make a list of those horses, but Revolutionary, Shanghai Bobby, Verrazano, Violence, Palace Malice, Overanalyze, and Capo Bastone would seem to be in the top spots for Team Pletcher.
Those six or seven horses have been performing well. Revolutionary won the Withers. Shanghai Bobby, the 2012 Breeders’ Cup and two year-old champion, broke the track record while finishing second to Itsmyluckyday in the Holy Bull. Verrazano remained undefeated in his only starts with two dominant victories at Gulfstream Park in 2013. Capo Bastone won his first race back this year in a very slow time on a muddy track, yet Pletcher said that this horse is still part of his first team. After winning the Remsen in November, Overanalyze is being prepared for his first start of the year in the Gotham on March 2nd
This weekend Team Pletcher has Violence making his sophomore season debut in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Palace Malice stepping up to stakes company in the Risen Star (G2).  As part of Pletcher’s team system those two horses have been training together. He said that, “85 percent of the breezes are in tandem.” On Sunday, Violence and Palace Malice had their final workout together. Pletcher said, “Their work was very good. They started head and head at the five-eighths pole and finished head and head. They went the last half in :23 and galloped out in 1:12.” Both of them were officially timed in identical 1:00-1 for the five furlongs, and they shared the top work out of 46 runners that day at Palm Meadows.
If all goes well when Pletcher’s horses are training for a race, they breeze every seven days, usually in tandem. They are not asked to show blazing speed, but to learn lessons with their workmate. One time a horse will run on the rail and next time they will be on the outside. You can see in the chart how well Violence’s training has gone.
Even though Violence has only started three times, he is one of Pletcher’s most experienced horses. “Violence is ready to run well.” Pletcher said. “With his three wins at three different track on three very different surfaces, he is a versatile horse with a terrific mindset. He just takes everything in stride. I love everything about him, so far.”
“Palace Malice was at the head of the two year-old class this summer at Saratoga, but had some shin issues and was given 60 days off,” said Pletcher.
About his second place finish in his 2013 comeback, Pletcher explained. “He ran very well.  He just ran into a mud lark in Majestic Hussar. He had a great gallop out in that seven furlong race.” Pletcher expects Palace Malice to run really well in the Risen Star because “the extra distance will suit him well.”
There is no doubt that Violence will be a very heavily bet favorite in the Fountain of Youth. Palace Malice is facing a tougher field and should be a better price when he faces the likes of Mylute, Normandy Invasion, Oxbow, and He’s Had Enough in the Risen Star. It will be interesting to see if this tandem can keep Team Pletcher rolling on the Road to the Triple Crown.  


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Older Comments about Big Weekend for Two of Todd Pletcher’s Lucky 7...

I understand your point, Sully. I just know that if I'm in the major leagues, and I'm batting 1-for-31. I'm about ready to punch that Greyhound bus ticket to the minors.
Could be setting yourself up to eat those words later, cause. Violence still ran a nice race, just got gunned down by the horse the race set up for, and that was Palace Malice's first try around two turns. Don't think either of his horses did him any shame.
Well, there's two to the wayside. This power house that Pletcher possesses, now is starting to show signs of a whimper. Could it be, that Pletcher is aiming toward another Ky Derby heartbreak?
I think a difference in 2013 for Pletcher is that more of his horses have already performed well as 3YOs.
Last year it was Algorithms, Discreet Dancer and El Padrino.. Is this another year of frustration?
Thought the allowance race for Palace Malice was a perfect prep for this weekend.
Really looking forward to seeing Violence again this weekend. I thought his final performance of 2012 was impressive so I'm excited for his return against a very tough field.
The Risen Star had turned out to be a very difficult spot, but in Palace Malice, I believe Dogwood has a horse that will become a legitimate graded stakes performer.

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Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Recently, Matt helped launch Derby Day Racing, a new 2-year-old racing partnership, that just purchased a promising Lookin At Lucky filly named Sooner Schooner.

You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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