Pletcher Confirms Stakes Plans

Next week’s Grade 2, $150,000 Shuvee Handicap for fillies and mares will likely feature two 4-year-olds from the barn of Todd Pletcher, the trainer said Sunday morning.


“We’re going to enter Awesome Maria, and I think we are going to run Happy Week as well to try and get her some black type,” said Pletcher.


Both 4-year-olds will be making their third start of the year in the one-mile Shuvee, with E. Paul Robsham Stables’ Awesome Maria having romped in the Grade 3 Sabin and Grade 3 Rampart at Gulfstream Park and the Wertheimer brothers’ Happy Week finishing fifth in a Gulfstream optional claimer and third in the Queen Stakes at Turfway Park.


Pletcher could also have multiple starters in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on Memorial Day, with Mike Repole’s Caixa Eletronica, winner of the Grade 3 Westchester on April 30, and Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite and Anstu Stables’ Ibboyee, first and third, respectively, in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap on May 7, all targeting the race.


The Met Mile, the first qualifying race for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, would be the third start in six weeks for Aikenite, but Pletcher believes the 4-year-old son of Yes It’s True could handle the hectic schedule.


“We were thinking he might need a little more time between races, but he keeps coming back at us,” said Pletcher. “He has been racing with good enthusiasm thus far.”


Pletcher revealed that Repole’s Calibrachoa, scratched out of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on April 9, is now targeting the Grade 2 True North Handicap Presented by Emirates Airline on June 11, Belmont Stakes day.


The trainer also confirmed his plans to compete at Royal Ascot for the first time, with Melnyk Racing turf sprinters Stratford Hill and Bridgetown under consideration for the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes and the Group 1 Golden Jubilee, Bobby Flay’s Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine More Than Real eyeing the Group 1 Coronation for 3-year-old fillies, and Let’s Go Stable’s recent debut winner More Than Minted possible for the Group 2 Queen Mary for 2-year-old fillies. The 2011 Royal Ascot meet will be held June 14-18.


Plans remain undetermined for WinStar Farm’s Brethren, who breezed four furlongs in 50.98 over Belmont’s training track yesterday in what was his first official workout following his 11-place finish in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 16.


“The breeze was just what we were trying to do, which was to start back, get a breeze, and see how fit he was,” said Pletcher. “He was in light training at WinStar.”




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Older Comments about Pletcher Confirms Stakes Plans...

Funny. The only horse of his that anyone gives a damn about (UM) is the only one he didn't mention. :/
  • Thoroughbred44 · Probably because Uncle Mo's future is still undecided as they don't even know what is wrong with him, and these are Stakes plans. But I would love to hear about Mo's current condition. But I like Awesome Maria, More Than Real, Aikenite, Bridgetown, and Brethren. · 2378 days ago

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