Trainer Todd Pletcher was pleased with Zaajel’s Mother Goose performance and provided information about other horses in his stable.
Todd Pletcher worked with a number of his top horses over the weekend, including the undefeated Happy Saver who, accompanied by Country Grammer Sunday, competed in the $ 400,000 10-line Class 2 Suburban Stakes for ages 4 and up Saturday July 3rd prep at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
Belmont’s Independence Day Weekend Slate runs July 3rd through Monday July 5th and features six races, including a pair of Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In qualifiers, led by Grade 2 Suburban [Classic] and the $ 250,000 Grade 2 John A. Nerud [Sprint], in which 4-year-olds and over will compete in seven stadiums on July 4th.
The holiday weekend begins July 3rd with the $ 100,000 Perfect Sting Stakes and continues on July 4th with the $ 100,000 Manila Stakes, while the $ 250,000 Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes anchors a Monday July 5th card that also features the $ 150,000 Grand Couturier Stakes .
Wertheimer and Freres Happy Saver, a 4-year-old Super Saver Chestnut, finished his second season with a grade in the 10-Tribe Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup with a three-quarter win over suburban rival Mystic Guide in October at the Belmont- Park.
Happy Saver made its season debut on Big Sandy on May 28 with a one-length score in an optional mile as the winner. At 7:45 a.m. Sunday, a rail-driving Happy Saver was working half a mile in company with his suburban contender Country Grammer at: 49.26 on the Belmont dirt training track.
“I thought it was a good job by both of them. Happy Saver was only a little better at the end of the gallop, but both worked well, ”said Pletcher. “We’ll see them ricochet off. I’m talking to Elliott [Walden] at WinStar and maybe talk about the Suburban for Country Grammer. We will consolidate that tomorrow. “
Pletcher said Happy Saver’s work so far – five eighths in: 59.40 on the dirt training course accompanied by Repole Stable and Moretti from Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners – has also been impressive.
“We gave him a really solid five-eighth work with a big canter last week; That was what we were looking for, ”said Pletcher. “He’s only getting one start off and we’re stretching it to a mile and a half so we wanted to get a good one in him last week.”
Moretti, who is also targeting the Suburban, worked a half-mile on the Belmont dirt training track at 48.75 on Saturday.
“We blew up Moretti yesterday and I think we’re on target with him so we could have up to three in there,” said Pletcher.
Moretti, a 5-year-old son by Medaglia d’Oro, out of the Grade 1 concerto mare Rigoletta, is a half-brother of the 2017 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Battle of Midway.
Last week, WinStar Farm’s Country Grammer worked half a mile on June 21 at: 49.05 with Mahaamel on the Belmont training track.
Country Grammer, a four-year-old tonalist, last won the Grade 1 Gold Cup for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert on May 31st at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. He was recently transferred to Pletcher.
Pletcher said the change of working partner for Country Grammer is a matter of timing.
“I didn’t want to process it too quickly after it arrived and I wanted to clean it up to get there, so it worked like that from the time it arrived,” said Pletcher.
In an attempt to separate a number of his top students, Pletcher said Mahaamel of Shadwell Stable, an Into Mischief colt bred in Kentucky by Clarkland Farm, will be targeting the single lap mile G3 Dwyer next Monday during donation thrift Farms Follow Sea, a runhappy colt, pointed to the nine million dollar Haskell Invitational on July 17 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, NJ
“I think we’re going to the Dwyer with Mahaamel. He’s going to blow the wind tomorrow, and if we’re satisfied with that we’ll take him to the Dwyer, ”said Pletcher. “I spoke to Ned Toffey from Spendthrift and we decided that we would go to Haskell with Follow Sea.”
A $ 700,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Mahaamel received a 99 Beyer with the addition of blinders on his second graduation in a 7-line girl specialty on June 4 at Belmont.
Following Sea, Beyer achieved a career high of 100, who won a 6½ Furnlong approval sprint on Big Sandy on June 3rd against older horses by 6½ lengths.
Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables’ multiple Grade 1 5 year old Mind Control recently transferred to Pletcher worked half a mile on the Belmont Dirt Training Course on Sunday at: 48.06 in preparation for the John A. Nerud Stakes .
“He’s been a great workhorse ever since he came in,” said Pletcher. “We’ve had this race in our sights for a while and it looks good. He has proven that he is a really nice horse and he is trained as you would expect from a horse with his credentials. He seems to be doing really well. “
Mind Control, a five-time graded stakes winner for his former trainer Gregg Sacco, scored his two Grade 1 victories at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, won the 2018 Hopeful Stakes as a youth, adding to the H. Allen. added Jerkens Stakes to the conclusion of its second season.
Pletcher said a good result in Nerud Mind Control could lead to another Class 1 stake in Saratoga, with the $ 600,000 Forego Stakes, a seven furlong test for older horses on August 28th, being an option.
“We’ll see how he does here, but something like the Forego might be on the radar,” said Pletcher.
Pletcher said Donegal Racing’s Shamrocket, a 4-year-old Tonalist colt, may return to Belmont on July 5 in the $ 150,000 Grand Couturier Stakes, a 12 Furlong Widener turf test for older horses. Also under consideration is the United Nations 11th Tribe Class 1 on July 17th at Monmouth Park.
“The grand couturier is one possibility,” said Pletcher. “He will work tomorrow. We ran a bit around the United Nations in Saratoga, or even a race for the allowances.
Two starts back, Shamrocket finished fourth in the Grade 1 Man o ‘War Stakes on May 8 at Belmont Park and returned on the same course on June 11 to win a 10 furlong turf allowance with a neck.
Repole Stable, Phipps Stable and St. Elias Stables Dynamic One achieved five eighths in 1: 01.90 on Friday on the dirt training course in Belmont.
The Union Rags Chestnut, which finished second in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial on April 3 at the Aqueduct Racetrack in New York, New York, finished 18th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 1 at Churchill Downs.
Pletcher said Dynamic One could point to the $ 120,000 curlin stakes, a nine-year test for sophomores on July 30 in Saratoga.
“He will either go to a grant race or to curlin,” said Pletcher. “We gave him a little time after the derby and he did very well physically and put on weight. We made it fresh with a view to a couple of races in Saratoga. “
St. Elias Stable’s graded stakes winner Dr. Post added blinders for a half-mile breeze on Friday at: 49.42 on the Belmont Dirt training course.
The Colt from Quality Road won Grade 3 Westchester on her season debut on May 1st in Belmont and finished fifth to last in Grade 1 Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 5th.
“We put blinders on him and I liked the reaction we got. I’m not sure where his next start will be, but he will be blindfolded, ”said Pletcher.
Dr. Post drove a moderate pace from fifth on the Met Mile but couldn’t make up any ground in the stretch run as a more prominent Silver State tumbled to a score of a length.
“He came too far back and for a race on paper that you thought was going to be a lot of pace it never really evolved,” said Pletcher. “He was starting to get closer to a slow-paced race, but it just didn’t work out.
“I’ve had blinders on my mind for a while,” added Pletcher. “But when he won the Westchester after being fired, I didn’t want to make a change in equipment. Now we can take this step. “
Pletcher saddled a pair of Con Lima contenders and Jouster in the nine-stage Grade 3 Wonder Again Stakes for sophomore filly on June 3 on Belmont Lawn, a key preparation for the 10 furlong $ 700,000 Grade 1 Belmont Oaks, the first Stage of the Turf Triple Series for fillies in their second year on July 10th.
Although Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph Graffeo, Del Toro, Eric Nikolaus and Troy Johnson’s Con Lima were broadcast 8-1 as the longer prize, they prevailed with half a length, while pacemaker Jouster came fourth for owner Starlight Racing and Glen Hill Farm.
Pletcher said veteran Con Lima, who had a record 11-6-4-0 with a profit of $ 379,865, showed more than enough to start the first leg of the turf triple.
“It’s ultra-consistent. She shows up every time and runs hard, ”said Pletcher. “I thought she did the mile and an eighth really well and we are optimistic that she will do the one and a half mile.”
Pletcher said Jouster, who hit the one-mile Appalachian Stakes in Keeneland on April 3, will showcase the one-mile Lake George Stakes worth $ 150,000 in Saratoga on July 23.
“She will go to Lake George. She didn’t quite see the mile and an eighth, so we’re focusing on shorter races, ”said Pletcher. “So we wanted to go to Wonder Again to see if we could stretch her longer for these lucrative races, but I think she’s best at a mile.”
Lawana and Robert Lows Sweet Melania, a 4-year-old American Pharoah chestnut, dashed half a mile in: 50.97 at the Oklahoma training field in Saratoga on Friday.
The multi-rated stakes winner won a Grade 3 Wonder Again last year but has not raced in Belmont since the last of 9 in the License Fee Stakes on April 30th.
Pletcher said Sweet Melania is being considered for Saturday’s $ 100,000 Perfect Sting Stakes, a one-mile Widener turf test for older mares and mares.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’ll see what opportunities I have with her at Saratoga, ”said Pletcher.
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