PLETCHER SETTLES IN; SIDNEY’S CANDY WORKS ON TURF – Trainer Todd Pletcher, who saddled three of his six Breeders’ Cup winners at last year’s World Championships at Churchill Downs, began the process of improving on his career total Tuesday morning starting at 6 o’clock with light exercise from Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) hopefuls Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty and concluding just before 10 o’clock with a half-mile grass work from Sidney’s Candy for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI).
“I am here through the Breeders’ Cup,” said Pletcher, whose last contingent of World Championship runners arrived from New York on Monday morning.
Leading that contingent was the Repole Stable-owned duo of Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty. Uncle Mo jogged once around the main track under Hector Ramos, while Stay Thirsty galloped a mile with Fernando Zamora up.
Pletcher plans to work both colts on Sunday.
“We pre-entered 11 altogether,” Pletcher said. “Hunt Crossing (Sentient Jet Juvenile Sprint), Stopshoppingmaria (Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies), Sweet Cat (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Her Smile (Sentient Jet Filly & Mare Sprint), Super Espresso (Ladies’ Classic),Finale (Juvenile Turf), Rule (Dirt Mile), Sidney’s Candy (Mile), and Aikenite who was cross-entered in the Sentient Jet Sprint and Dirt Mile, plus Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty.”
Uncle Mo won the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) last year and Pletcher’s other winners were Pluck in the Juvenile Turf and More Than Real in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
“I feel good about all my horses and it looks like the ones that came in yesterday all shipped well,” Pletcher said. “We have some important works coming up and you hold your breath (until the event is here).”
Pletcher was asked if there were any of his runners that might be flying under the radar coming into this year’s championships.
"We’ve got a few that are in that category,” Pletcher said with a laugh. “Her Smile won the Prioress (GI) and got the perfect set-up and would need something similar. Super Espresso, we are going off her work here the other day (five furlongs in 1:01.60 over a fast track Saturday). She trained here in the spring before going to Pimlico (for a victory in the GIII DuPont Distaff), so for her it is racetrack related. Aikenite runs well here.”
WinStar Farm and Rubio B Stable’s Sidney’s Candy covered a half-mile on firm turf in :50 under exercise rider Annie Finney. Clockers got the first quarter in 27 seconds flat and a gallop-out time of 1:03.40 for five furlongs.
“It was a good work,” Pletcher said of Sidney’s Candy, who ran third in the Shadwell Turf Mile (GI) at Keeneland in his most recent start on Oct. 8. “It looked like he got over the ground well and finished strong.”
FIELDS TAKING SHAPE FOR OPENING-DAY POCAHONTAS AND IROQUOIS – A trio of Grade III winners are expected to be among the names to pass the entry box Thursday for the 43rd running of the $150,000 Pocahontas (GII) at a mile on the main track to be run Sunday.
The Pocahontas and the 30th running of the $100,000-added Iroquois (GIII) share top billing on Sunday’s opening-day program of the 21-day Fall Meeting that runs through Nov. 27. Sunday’s card, “Stars of Tomorrow I” will feature racing exclusively for 2-year-olds.
Heading the list of probables according to Churchill Downs racing officials are Believe You Can, Flashy Lassie and Georgie’s Angel.
Brereton Jones’ Believe You Can has won her past three starts, capped by a victory in the Tempted (GIII) at Belmont Park on Oct. 2. Barry King’s Flashy Lassie won the Debutante (GIII) here in June and Georgie’s Angel, beaten favorite in the Tempted, won the Schuylerville (GIII) at Saratoga. Georgie’s Angel is owned by Sheffer Racing Stable, Ronald Stocks, Betsy Wells and Kelly Weitsma.
Other probable starters for the Pocahontas, won last year by Dancinginherdreams, include And Why Not, Aubby K, Best of Times, Glinda the Good, Heart of Destiny,Spirited Miss and Taxi Dancer.
Lantern Hill Farm’s Motor City, third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (GIII), tops the list of probables for the Iroquois. Other likely starters for the Iroquois, won last year by Astrology, include Hollywood Script, Mark Valeski, Purely Determined andSeven Lively Sins.
BARN TALK – Buff Bradley, trainer and co-owner of Groupie Doll, plans to bring the 3-year-old filly back in the Nov. 12 Mrs. Revere (GII) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Groupie Doll finished second in last Saturday’s Lexus Raven Run (GII) at Keeneland. …
Bisnath Parboo, trainer of Breeders’ Cup hopefuls Giant Ryan and Trinniberg, plans to work both horses Wednesday morning. Trinniberg (Sentient Jet Juvenile Sprint candidate) is scheduled to work three furlongs or a half-mile out of the gate at 7:15 with Giant Ryan (Grade I Sentient Jet Sprint) slated to work a half-mile or five furlongs after the renovation break. Willie Martinez is scheduled to be in the saddle for both works.
WORK TAB – Tom McCarthy’s General Quarters, working toward an expected start in Saturday’s Fayette (GII) at Keeneland, breezed three furlongs in :36.20 over a fast track. …
Lantern Hill Farm’s Motor City, a candidate for Sunday’s 30th running of the $100,000-added Iroquois (GIII), worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 before the renovation break under Calvin Borel. The work was the fifth fastest of 37 at the distance. …
Working six furlongs in 1:18.40 on the firm Matt Winn Turf Course was Gaillardia Racing’s Wilkinson, who was third in the Jamaica Handicap (GI) in his most recent start.