Edited Keeneland Staff Release — On Friday, trainer Todd Pletcher sent out 12 horses who are pre-entered in the 40th Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita for half-mile works on a fast track.
Pletcher, who is based primarily in New York, had about 20 horses stabled at Keeneland throughout the Fall Meet. He opted to consolidate his Breeders’ Cup hopefuls at Keeneland in advance of their departure to Santa Anita on Saturday, Oct. 28.
“We had three horses that were coming off wins here that were already here,” Pletcher said, referring to Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Locked, Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) winner Up to the Mark and Darley Alcibiades (G1) winner Candied. “I didn’t think it made sense to take them back to New York then go from New York to California. I felt like the easiest thing was to consolidate here and prepare from here. I like the way that the track has been playing.”
Here are the work times for the Pletcher horses with some of the trainer’s comments:
Pilgrim (G2) winner Agate Road (Juvenile Turf) in company with Haul (:49).
Darley Alcibiades (G1) winner Candied (NetJets Juvenile Filles) in company with Chandelier (G2) runner-up Scalable (Juvenile Fillies) (:49.20).
Click here for a video of the work by Candied and Scalable.
About Candied, Pletcher said, “She worked very well. She worked on the inside of Scalable. Finished up nicely, galloped out good. She was a little late on her lead change, which has kind of been a thing with her. But she did get it the second time when Luis (Saez) asked for it. And once she did, she leveled off nicely, finished up strong and galloped out great.”
Suburban (G2) winner Charge It (Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile) (:48.60).
Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Bright Future (Classic or Dirt Mile) in company with Pennsylvania Derby (G1) runner-up Dreamlike (Dirt Mile or Classic) (:48.40; out 6 furlongs in 1:00.80).
Maiden winner Fierceness (FanDuel Juvenile) in company with Castle & Key Bourbon (G2) runner-up Noted (Juvenile) (:48.60).
Click here for a video of the work by Fierceness and Noted.
Frizette (G1) third-place finisher Life Talk (Juvenile Fillies) in company with Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Locked (Juvenile) (:48; out 6 furlongs in 1:00).
“Locked just does everything so easily and effortlessly,” Pletcher said. “He’s a colt that we had high expectations for when he came in. He’s a very quiet, laid-back colt. Unassuming, until we got serious with him, and then it was like, wow, this is a really nice colt. I thought his debut was sneaky impressive. I thought his mile maiden win at Saratoga was the most impressive 2-year-old performance of the meet. Then to come here and win (the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity) from an outside draw and a wide trip the entire way, I thought that was a very determined effort on his part. He’s done everything well since then. We’ve been blessed with some very good 2-year-olds, and I think that he’s right there with them.”
Miss Grillo (G2) runner-up Life’s an Audible (Juvenile Fillies Turf) in company with Appellate (:48.80).
Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) winner Up to the Mark (Turf or Mile) in company with Be You (:48.80).
“Up to the Mark has had two good breezes now since his win in the (Coolmore) Turf Mile,” Pletcher said. “I thought we got what we wanted in terms of some good conditioning. Strong gallop out, seems to be doing well. We’re going to continue to lean towards going in the Turf.”
After winning one race in five starts on dirt, Up to the Mark made his turf debut in January at Gulfstream Park. In six races on grass, he has five wins, including the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1), Resorts World Casino Manhattan (G1) and Coolmore Turf Mile in consecutive starts.
“We were frustrated because he was a horse that always trained well on the dirt,” Pletcher said about the surface switch. “He broke his maiden on debut on the dirt, and we felt like something just wasn’t adding up for a horse that trained better than he was running. So once we switched to the turf, I thought his allowance win at Gulfstream was an outstanding performance. And when we saw that, we were like, wow, this might be a real grass horse. And subsequently, to do what he did and win three Grade 1s at three different distances, it’s exceptional. He’s been a remarkable horse.”
Also on Friday, these trainers sent their Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants for half-mile works:
- Rodolphe Brisset – Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) winner Yuugiri (PNC Bank Filly and Mare Sprint) (:48.40). She is to leave for Santa Anita on Monday, Oct. 30.
- Ignacio Correas IV – Juddmonte Spinster (G1) runner-up Le Da Vida (CHI) (Distaff) (:49). She is to leave for Santa Anita on Monday, Oct. 30.
- Cherie DeVaux – Jefferson Cup winner More Than Looks (Mile) in company with Zverev (:49.20); Johnnie Walker Natalma (G1) winner She Feels Pretty (Juvenile Fillies Turf) (:47.80); and Ack Ack (G3) runner-up Stage Raider (Dirt Mile) in company with Mr. Faversham (:48.40).
Click here for a video of the work by More Than Looks.
The DeVaux runners are to leave Keeneland for Santa Anita on Saturday.
BIG THURSDAY FOR GAFFALIONE, COX
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione rode four winners Thursday, three for trainer Brad Cox, and regained the top spot on the list of leading jockeys for the Fall Meet with 20 victories. Prior to the start of racing Friday, he has two more wins than Luis Saez and six more wins than Flavien Prat.
Gaffalione won Thursday’s Race 3 on Olga Isabel, Race 5 with Excellent Question, Race 6 with Mena and Race 8 aboard Rocketeer. Cox trains three of Gaffalione’s winners – Olga Isabel, Mena and Rocketeer – and has scored 11 wins so far for the season.
Gaffalione is named on horses in eight races Friday and nine races Saturday. Saez has nine mounts both today and tomorrow.
Entering racing Friday, Cox is five wins ahead of Steve Asmussen, Chris Hartman and Todd Pletcher – all of whom have six wins apiece. Cox has entrants in five races Friday and five races Saturday.