Thursday, August 02, 2012


NEW YORK WATCH: TOP TIER LASS


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Todd Pletcher, who has won the Saratoga training title eight times, would be the first to tell you that much of his success at the Spa depends on the performance of his 2-year-olds.

So far in 2012, things are looking pretty good for Pletcher. By day 10, five of his six winners were juveniles, including Top Tier Lass, who romped home by seven lengths at first asking on the grass on July 30. Under John Velazquez, the daughter of dual Grade 1 winner Street Boss was away well at the start, contested the early pace while running in the four path, surged past the three in front of her when asked on the turn and extended her advantage through the stretch under a hand ride.


Her time for the 5 ½ furlongs over a course rated “good” was 1:03.34.

Top Tier Lass herself was a recent arrival in upstate New York, having been sent to Pletcher’s string at Monmouth Park after fetching $60,000 at the OBS March Sale of Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training. Out of the King of Kings mare Top Tier, a winner at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, Top Tier Lass caught Pletcher’s eye when she breezed one furlong in 10 1/5 seconds.

“We were finding quite a few of the Street Bosses we thought were interesting and she happened to be one that fell into our price range,” said Pletcher of Top Tier Lass, who carries the colors of Lets Go Stable.

Sent to Pletcher’s string at Monmouth Park, Top Tier Lass “exceeded expectations” with several sparkling works on the dirt, and in mid-July joined Pletcher’s barn at the Spa. A five-furlong breeze in 1:01.46 on the Oklahoma turf training track confirmed her natural affinity for grass and it was decided to give her a “little spin” on the grass.

“We kind of talked about whether to go in the 5 ½ or longer, and we thought with her pedigree we’d start off short,” said Pletcher. “Street Boss himself was primarily a sprinter on the West coast. But this filly has some substance to her, stamina on the bottom side.

“Today, she broke well and was a bit wide going into the first turn,” he added. “It was a pretty straightforward performance. But I do think she will stretch out.”

Bred in Kentucky by Sun Valley Farm, Top Tier Lass was pinhooked for $27,000 by Halcyon Hammock Farm as a yearling at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale before being sold in March.

Other horses previously featured in the New York Watch series include 2010 Champion Two-Year-Old Male Uncle Mo, 2011 Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Royal Delta, 2011 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly My Miss Aurelia, and Grade 1 winners Boys At Tosconova, J. B.’s Thunder, Winter Memories, Currency Swap, and To Honor and Serve.


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