Pletcher starts fast in quest for 14th training title at Gulfstream
December 18, 2016 01:14pm

Trainer Todd Pletcher has gotten off to a fast start in his quest for an unprecedented 14th consecutive Championship Meet title at Gulfstream Park, where his meet-leading 11 victories include seven stakes triumphs.
Pletcher, who saddled Stanford for a victory in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) and Eskenformoney for a win in the Rampart (G3) at Gulfstream Saturday, sent out Zulu for a 2 ¾-length triumph in Sunday’s $60,000 Tamarac Stakes.
“It’s been a good start. We closed down Monmouth right after Labor Day and Anthony Sciametta and the team came down to Palm Beach Downs so a lot of the last couple of the months has been kind of gearing up toward the meet here with horses like (Zulu) who had been pointing for (the Tamarac) for a while and Stanford pointing for (the Harlan’s Holiday) for a while. The team did a great job getting them ready and acclimated down here,” Pletcher said.
“It seems like for whatever reason our horses seem to take to Gulfstream,” the seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer added. “It kind of fits our style. Horses want to be involved and it’s kind toward front-running horses or horses that lay close to the pace. It’s kind of come together. We’ve had a lot of starters, but they’ve run well.”
Zulu also provided Javier Castellano with his 300th win of 2016, making it five consecutive years that he has reached the milestone. Castellano is on a quest for his sixth consecutive Championship Meet riding title.
Alter Looks Ahead to Upcoming Stakes for Curlin’s Approval
Owner Happy Alter reported Sunday morning that his homebred filly, Curlin’s Approval, emerged from her gutsy second-place finish behind Eskenformoney in Saturday’s $100,000 Rampart (G3) in good order and expected her to run back during the Championship Meet.
Gulfstream’s upcoming stakes for older fillies and mares on dirt include the $100,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) Jan. 28 and $200,000 Inside Information (G2) March 18, both at seven furlongs, and the $200,000 Royal Delta (G2) at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 18.
“This was her first race in 56 days. I think she’s at her best when she runs every month to six weeks, so we’ll see,” Alter said.
Curlin’s Approval was a strong 1-2 favorite in the Rampart, her fifth career start at  Gulfstream Park, where she now  has three wins and a second including her victory in the Added Elegance Stakes Aug. 28 over her elders. She had raced only once since then, finishing fourth behind multiple graded-stakes winner Lightstream in the Raven Run (G2) Oct. 22 at Keeneland.
Making her first start beyond seven furlongs in the mile Rampart, the only 3-year-olf filly in the field dueled for the lead with Grade 3 winner Genre through solid fractions before coming up a length short of holding off Eskenformoney.
Who’s Hot: Jockey Corey Lanerie scored his first two victories of the Championship Meet, winning aboard Lady Lt. ($8.80) in the fifth and Lobelia ($6.80) in the ninth.

Source: Gulfstream Park


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