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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pletcher Rolls On

- Todd Pletcher, who added two more winners on Friday, is locked and loaded at Gulfstream on Saturday with live entrants in five of the 11 races. In the 5th, Danaslam (Grand Slam) moves inside in quest of her third win in her last four starts, and looks the part of 5-2 morning line favorite.

In the 6th, a six furlong allowance, three-year old Exclusive Quality (Elusive Quality), makes his first start, as the 5-2 morning line choice, since his snazzy maiden win on January 7. He’s a $850,000 yearling out of a Glitterman mare who’s a half-sister to Brave Deed, second in the Test to Jersey Girl in 1998. Also in the race is Union Course (Dixie Union), making his first start of the year; he was a close second in the Flash at Belmont last June, and then spent the summer chasing Henny Hughes and Private Vow.

The 7th is the first division of a three year-old maiden special sprint, and in this race, Bluegrass Cat connections Pletcher/WinStar debut Ultimate Goal, a homebred Storm Cat colt out of Grade 1 stakes winner Sister Act (Saint Ballado). Starting just inside of him on the rail is another high-priced yearling making his debut for the John Ward/Oxley team. Minister’s Bid was also bred by WinStar, but purchased at Keeneland September for $750,000. He’s by Deputy Minister, out of graded stakes winner Princess Pietrina, and has shown speed in the morning.

The tenth is the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders Cup at that popular 1 7/16th mile distance on the grass, and Pletcher has one of the main contenders in Go Deputy (Deputy Minister). He was a close second to Honor And War in the Mac Diarmada Stakes with a lifetime best 101 Beyer, and looks like a horse on the improve as he takes on four Grade 1 winners.

And finally, in the 11th, the second of the maiden special heats, Pletcher unveils Prize Cat, yet another Storm Cat colt who is also out of a Grade 1 winner. Plenty of Light (Colonial Light) took the Spinster in 2000, defeating Spain, who went on to win the BC Distaff that fall. Pletcher hasn’t had a debut winner at Gulfstream since January 8th, spanning 16 such starters, including two from Aqueduct, nine of those at 5-1 or less.

1 Comment:

Walter said...

...sorry about Highland Cat, Alan...i just looked at the charts...and wow, did Scanlon's Song run badly!...i'm guessing Achilles of Troy could've done better... 8^P