When his time comes, Todd Pletcher will not become a first ballot Hall of Famer because he’s not the all-time leading money earner, or poised to win his 14th Saratoga training title, or, fundamentally, never learned how to read a condition book.
His entrant in today’s featured Tesio Stakes, the traditional prep for the Preakness, Happy Saver, was entered in Saturday’s G2 Jim Dandy Stakes but if you have a three-year-old who’s 2-for-2, winning by margins, in fast time, your thoughts might turn to black-eyed susans.
So then why not scratch, hop on a van, and ship to Laurel where the faces, while accomplished, are less intimidating. You get a race over at a track and can either remain in the Free State or ship to Saratoga or Belmont, whatever the boss decides.
The spacing is perfect, he’s won at the distance and gets top local rider Trevor McCarthy. As the 1-2 early favorite, he’s not going to surprise anyone.
Not betting straight given the prohibitive price, but will key him in exotics over Horse for Course, first-gelding Amen Corner (15-1), and solid finisher Plot the Dots (8-1), getting back to his winning distance.