Pletcher Has Mother Goose Surrounded

A trio of fillies from Todd Pletcher’s barn headline a well-matched group of 3-year-old fillies entered in Saturday’s 54th running of the Grade 1, $250,000 Mother Goose at Belmont Park.


Five fillies were entered in the 1 1/16th-mile event, including Pletcher’s Grade 1 Frizette and Grade 2 Bonnie Miss heroine Devil May Care, Grade 3 Tempted and Dogwood winner Ailalea, and Katy Now, who has won her last three starts.


After winning the Frizette by a head here at Belmont in her second outing, Devil May Care finished 11th in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in her lone start over an artificial surface. She made her sophomore debut in the Grade 3 Silverbulletday at the Fair Grounds in February, but beat just one home to finish fifth after misbehaving at the gate.


Devil May Care got back on track with a 2¾-length victory in the Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream Park on March 20, inspiring her connections to take a shot against males in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. Backed as the 10-1 fourth choice on the first Saturday in May, she made a strong 5-wide rally on the far turn to contend for the lead before giving way in the stretch to finish 10th.


“For a moment I thought she was going to be right there, but she kind of flattened out in the final eighth,” said Pletcher, who trains Devil May Care on behalf of Glencrest Farm. “She probably didn’t have as much foundation as we would have liked. We kicked [the thought of going to the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes] around, but we just felt after the Derby that we should give her plenty of time.”


John Velazquez will ride Devil May Care, who drew post position 3 as the 6-5 morning-line favorite.


Ailalea also enters the Mother Goose off a race at Churchill Downs, having held on to win the Grade 3 Dogwood by a length on May 29. The Starlight Partners representative will be making her first start in New York since winning the Tempted at Aqueduct last November.


“I think she liked the little bit of a cut back in distance [in the Dogwood],” said Pletcher. “It was her second start in blinkers, so that was good. I think it was her best race since she won the Tempted.”


Ailalea will break from post position 2 under jockey Edgar Prado, who guided the 3-1 second choice to her maiden victory back in October.

Completing Pletcher’s triumvirate is Katy Now, who will make her first start against stakes competition. After concluding her juvenile season with a maiden score at Keeneland and an allowance triumph at Churchill Downs while racing for trainer Ian Wilkes, the Mill House colorbearer opened her 2010 campaign by drawing off to win by 4½ lengths in a six-furlong optional claimer at Belmont on May 28 in her first start for Pletcher.


“Being a daughter of Tiznow, we think she’ll be able to handle the extra distance,” said Pletcher. “This should be a good barometer going forward.”


Tabbed at 8-1 on the morning line, Katy Now will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux and break from post position 5.


Biofuel was named the 2009 Canadian Champion Two-Year-Old Filly after winning the Grade 3 Mazarine and finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and is unbeaten in two starts this year, having rallied to win the April 10 Star Shoot and May 23 La Lorgnette at Woodbine.


The Mother Goose will be Biofuel’s first start on conventional dirt, but trainer Reade Baker is optimistic the Brereton C. Jones homebred will handle the change in surfaces following a recent pair of brisk breezes over Woodbine’s training track.


“If that’s any indication, we’ll be in good shape,” said Baker.


Eurico Rosa da Silva will fly in from Toronto to ride Biofuel, who will break from the rail at 5-1 on the morning line.


Brooklyn Boyz Stables’ Connie and Michael was a 7¾-length debut winner at Keeneland last October, then was eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and third in the Grade 3 Miesque on the turf at Hollywood Park. Trying conventional dirt for the first time at Churchill Downs on May 20 in her sophomore bow, she set all the fractions to prevail by 5¼ lengths.


Rajiv Maragh has picked up the mount aboard Connie and Michael, who was made the 7-2 third choice on the morning line and who drew post position 4.


The field for the Grade 1 Mother Goose:








Biofuel (KY)

E R Da Silva


R Baker



Ailalea (KY)

E S Prado


T A Pletcher



Devil May Care (KY)

J R Velazquez


T A Pletcher



Connie and Michael (KY)

R Maragh


K G McPeek



Katy Now (KY)

K J Desormeaux


T A Pletcher








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Older Comments about Pletcher Has Mother Goose Surrounded...

If you love yourself, LOAD UP ON KATY NOW! ! ! ! This daughter of Tiznow is ready to turn the tables.

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