Pletcher Breeders' Cup Troops Gearing Up at Belmont


Todd Pletcher | Adam Coglianese

Trainer Todd Pletcher breezed a quintet of Breeders' Cup contenders over the past two mornings at Belmont Park.

Halladay (War Front) (Mile), winner of the GI Fourstardave H. last out Aug. 22 at Saratoga, worked five-eighths in company Friday in 1:00.60 on the fast dirt training track. He was scratched out of the GI Shadwell Turf Mile Oct. 3 at Keeneland with a hind leg infection.

“I thought it was a good work. We normally don't work him in company, but seeing as we're a little rushed for time between races, I wanted to get a good solid work into him today in company,” said Pletcher. “He's a very willing work horse on his own but the fact that we missed the prep race we wanted to get a good solid company work into him and we got what we were hoping for. He responded quickly to antibiotics and everything has gone according to plan so far.”

Valiance (Tapit) (Distaff) made the grade last out in the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. Oct. 4 at Keeneland. She clocked a half-mile in :48.04 on the dirt training track Friday.

“I thought it was an excellent work,” said Pletcher. “She seems to be in really good form at the moment. I was really happy with the work and gallop out. This is another step up but she seems to be in the best form of her career.”

Fellow Breeders' Cup hopefuls 'TDN Rising Star' Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief) (Juvenile Turf), Likeable (Frosted) (Juvenile) and Union Gables (Speighstown) (Juvenile Fillies Turf/Juvenile Turf Sprint) worked on Thursday at Belmont.

Pletcher added that the undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Happy Saver (Super Saver), a last-out winner of the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup Oct. 10 at Belmont, will not enter the GI Breeders' Cup Classic.

“We're going to pass on the Breeders' Cup with him and make a decision in the next week on whether we'll give him some time off or focus on a Plan B towards the Pegasus. I think the Classic is coming up a little too soon,” said Pletcher. “He's a horse we plan to race next year and I felt like for the long term skipping this race and focusing on 2021 is the right move for him. He has a lot of talent and we want to make sure we keep him fresh for next year.”

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