Mo's Next Step
Mo considers Kelso or Penn Derby; Sidney opts for Forego
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday that the one-mile Kelso (G2) at Belmont Park on October 1 and the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on September 24 are among the options for King's Bishop (G1) runner-up UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie). Pletcher also said Travers S. (G1) winner STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini) would most likely head to the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), also at Belmont on October 1.
"I've had approximately 12 conversations with (owner) Mike (Repole), but nothing is firmed up," Pletcher quipped. "The most likely scenario for Stay Thirsty is the Jockey Club Gold Cup. I suppose there's some wiggle room there; the Pennsylvania Derby is a week sooner against straight three-year-olds.
"The Pennsylvania Derby is an option for Uncle Mo," he added. "I suppose if we felt like he needed another week, a race like the Kelso could be in the mix. The Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) is 1 1/4 miles and we still have aspirations to making that race with Uncle Mo. Between now and then, if we need to stretch him out and want to go 1 1/4 miles, I don't know if the Kelso at a mile would be long enough for us to get there. So we'll have to play it by ear."
With two Grade 1 victories last Saturday, Pletcher is looking to continue his success Labor Day weekend as he will be well represented in the Spa's stakes offerings, beginning with CRAZY PARTY (A.P. Indy) in the P.G. Johnson for two-year-old fillies on the turf on Wednesday and CAPTAIN WEBB (English Channel) in Thursday's With Anticipation S. (G2) for two-year-olds on the turf.
Pletcher will be represented in all three Grade 1 races on "Super Saturday." Grade 1 hero SIDNEY'S CANDY (Candy Ride [Arg]), winner of the grassy Fourstardave H. (G2) in his debut for new connections, will revert to dirt for the seven-furlong Forego S. (G1). Stablemate AIKENITE (Yes It's True), the beaten favorite in the James Marvin on July 22, will join him in the Forego. MISSION IMPAZIBLE (Unbridled's Song) and RULE (Roman Ruler) will go in the 1 1/8-mile Woodward S. (G1), and SUPER ESPRESSO (Medaglia d'Oro), second in the Ruffian (G1) on July 31, will contest the rescheduled Personal Ensign S. (G1).
Sidney's Candy will shorten up and return to dirt (NYRA/Adam Coglianese)
"The Woodward and the Forego are very attractive races, and Sidney's Candy is a horse who is so good at all these things," Pletcher said. "But we felt the seven-eighths was a little more comfortable distance than the 1 1/8 miles.
"Aikenite's last race was good; it was just such a tough race," he said of the James Marvin. "He probably ended up a little closer to the pace than he ideally wanted. He still ran a very credible race."
Others expected in the Forego are James Marvin winner JACKSON BEND (Hear No Evil) from the Nick Zito barn, ESCROW KID (City Place), GOLDDIGGER'S BOY (Jump Start), JERSEY TOWN (Speightstown) and REGAL RANSOM (Distorted Humor). TEMPTED TO TAPIT (Tapit) was listed as possible for the race.
The Personal Ensign, originally scheduled for this past Sunday but postponed because of Hurricane Irene, has been moved to Saturday. The race will be redrawn Wednesday, but NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes said the original field of six -- ACRONYM (Empire Maker), ASK THE MOON (Malibu Moon), PACHATTACK (Pulpit), PROTESTING (A.P. Indy) and TIZ MIZ SUE (Tiznow) along with Super Espresso -- would probably remain intact.
Pletcher said he hopes to have a least one starter in the Spinaway S. (G1) for two-year-old fillies on Sunday with Schuylerville S. (G3) winner GEORGIE'S ANGEL (Bellamy Road). STOPSHOPPINGMARIA (More Than Ready), an impressive 9 3/4-length maiden winner at the Spa on August 14, is possible.
The seven-furlong Spinaway will also likely attract the Michael Matz-trained AND WHY NOT (Street Cry [Ire]) as well as BAFFLE ME (First Samurai), BORN BULLISH (Flashy Bull), GRACE HALL (Empire Maker), LADY PECAN (Concerto) and VUKOVAR (Forest Wildcat).
Also Sunday is the Saranac S. (G3), run at 1 1/8 miles on the turf for three-year-olds. Byrnes expects ADIRONDACK SUMMER (Thunder Gulch), BREATHLESS STORM (Storm Cat), BRILLIANT SPEED (Dynaformer), CHINGLISH (War Front), CLEAR ATTEMPT (A.P. Indy), CLEMENT ROCK (Strong Hope), KING CONGIE (Badge of Silver), LIVE IN JOY (Kitten's Joy), PERREGAUX (Distorted Humor) and SEAL COVE (Strong Hope), with SKY BLAZER (Sky Mesa) possible.
Pletcher is pointing recent maiden winners BIG BLUE NATION (Bluegrass Cat) and HUNT CROSSING (Corinthian) to Monday's seven-furlong Hopeful S. (G1).
"They will both breeze tomorrow, and if they please us, they will both go in the Hopeful," he said.
The Hopeful, which is a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) division, is likely to bring together CURRENCY SWAP (High Cotton), J C'S PRIDE (Henny Hughes), JAGATI (Yes It's True), LAURIE'S ROCKET (Bluegrass Cat), POWER WORLD (Distorted Humor), SCALLION (Lion Heart), TRINNIBERG (Teuflesberg) and VEXOR (Wildcat Heir). BASMATI (Borrego), I'LL HAVE ANOTHER (Flower Alley) and JACK'S IN THE DECK (Love of Money) were all listed as possible.
Also on Labor Day, Pletcher will saddle Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) runner-up BUBBLY JANE (Brz) (Yagli) in the Glens Falls (G3) at 1 3/8 miles for fillies and mares on the turf. Her rivals will probably include BELLE WATLING (Chi) (Dushyantor), DYANI (Dynaformer), EMERALD BEECH (Maria's Mon), GIANTS PLAY (Giant's Causeway), GOLD D'ORO (Medaglia d'Oro) and PRIZE CATCH (A.P. Indy), with HUXLEY WINNER (Stephen Got Even) a possibility.
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