Notacatbutallama Confirmed for Mohawk
October 18, 2013 07:20am
Notacatbutallama 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire/Bob Mayberger

After an "enthusiastic" week of training, multiple graded stakes winner Notacatbutallama was confirmed for tomorrow's $200,000 Mohawk on Empire Showcase Day presented by the Fund, trainer Todd Pletcher said this morning.


"All is well, and we are planning to run," said Pletcher of the 3-year-old Harlan's Holiday colt, most recently fourth in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap on October 5.


Notacatbutallama, who this year has won the Grade 3 Hill Prince, the Grade 3 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame and the Solar Splendor overnight stakes, is the only stakes representative on Showcase Day from the Pletcher barn, although it also will send out maidens Gloria Victoria (race 5) and Bottleofredorwhite (race 6).


Next weekend, however, the trainer looks to have a strong hand in both the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap for sprinters and the Grade 3 Turnback The Alarm Handicap for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles, the final two graded stakes of Belmont's fall meet.


The stakes-winning Forty Tales, most recently fourth in both the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont and the Grade 1 Foxwoods King's Bishop at Saratoga, gets some class relief in the seven-furlong Bold Ruler. Victorious in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens presented by NYRA Rewards on Belmont Stakes Day and the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, Forty Tales had been under consideration for the Breeders' Cup Sprint.


"When we decided not to do to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, this became the most logical option," said Pletcher of the Bold Ruler. "Seven-eighths is probably his ideal distance."


In the Turnback the Alarm, Royal Lahaina and Fantasy of Flight will be making their first starts for Pletcher, who won the race in 2009 with Unbridled Belle and in 2006 with Indian Vale.


Owned by James Riccio, Royal Lahaina most recently finished second in the Lady's Secret at Monmouth Park for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, while Fantasy of Flight was seventh in the Grade 1 Ballerina for owner Sanford Robbins and trainer Michelle Nevin.


"We've had Royal Lahina for five or six weeks now and she's been training well," said Pletcher of the 5-year-old Chapel Royal mare. "There haven't been a lot of options for her, so we've been targeting this for a while now.


"It's a similar situation with Fantasy of Flight," he added of the 5-year-old Tiznow mare, who in her only start beyond a mile was second by a half-length in an optional claimer at Aqueduct in March, 2012. "Most of her races have been shorter, but we're going to try her at 1 1/16 miles."


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In his only start for trainer Tom Bush, So Lonesome finished second by a length as the favorite in a six-furlong optional claimer on September 26. The Freud colt, who broke his maiden at Saratoga for Dale Capuano, will take a big step up in Saturday's Empire Showcase Day presented by The Fund when he faces graded stakes winner Wired Bryan in the $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard at seven furlongs.


"Wired Bryan looks like the best bet of the day," said Bush of the favorite, who won the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga and the New York Breeders' Futurity at Finger Lakes, both at six furlongs. "You wonder if he's more effective shorter, but against these kinds of horses the seven-eighths is probably no problem at all. This horse of mine, he's big and tall and leggy and more ground would probably be better for him. He's going to have to come up with a good one, but we have the champ [Javier Castellano] in the saddle, so that should help."


The Ticonderoga for turf fillies and mares presents a different sort of challenge for Wholelottashakin, most recently second by a neck in the John Hettinger on September 15. The 1 1/16-mile race drew a closely matched field of 10, headed by Effie Trinket (3-1), Shakeira (7-2) and Inimitable Romanee (4-1), with Wholelottashakin the fourth choice at 5-1 from post position 10.


"It would be nice if you had one to beat but you have four or five," said Bush, who will give a leg up to Irad Ortiz, Jr. "Plus, we're going to have to ride her out of there to get a spot for her, because the post is not good with that turn. I'm hoping we can get over and not give up a lot of ground. I hate being wide all the way down the backside. She seems like she's wanted to lay a little closer, but that's not going to be as easy to do from that post. It will be a jockeys' race."






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