Pletcher Points Fierceness, Mindframe Towards Haskell

Fierceness | Sarah Andrew

Champion 2-year-old colt and 'TDN Rising Star' Fierceness (City of Light) worked a half-mile in :51 flat Friday for trainer Todd Pletcher over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga in preparation for a start in the GI NYRA Bets Haskell Stakes July 20 at Monmouth Park.

Joining the GI Curlin Florida Derby winner on the work tab Friday was Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables recent GII Suburban Stakes winner Crupi (Curlin), who covered a half-mile in :52.85 in company with Talk of the Nation (Quality Road).

“Both works were probably better than the times suggest – finished up well and galloped out strongly,” said Pletcher.

He added that both Fierceness and fellow 'Rising Star' GI Belmont Stakes runner-up Mindframe (Constiution) are likely to start in the Haskell.

“I'll talk to Mike [Repole] but right now we're pointing Fierceness and Mindframe towards the Haskell.”

Pletcher said Mindframe has exited the Belmont Stakes in good order.

“He's been galloping well this week. He looks good and his overall condition is excellent coming out of the race. We'll look for a breeze next weekend.”

Pletcher won Monmouth's local prep for the Haskell last weekend with Spendthrift Farm's Tuscan Sky (Vino Rosso), who captured the Pegasus Stakes by 6 3/4 lengths over Domestic Product (Practical Joke). The top two Pegasus finishers received free entry and start fees for the Haskell.

Pletcher noted that Centennial Farms' Antiquarian (Preservationist), who ran fifth in the Belmont Stakes, is enjoying a freshening, and further said that he will re-group with Repole Stable's Belmont Stakes sixth-place finisher Protective (Medaglia d'Oro) and target a maiden event at the Spa.

Pletcher indicated that Crupi is pointing to the GII Brooklyn Invitational July 5, which could serve as a bridge to the “Win And You're In” GI Whitney Stakes August 3 at Saratoga.

If Crupi makes the Whitney, he is likely to meet stablemate Bright Future (Curlin), who returned from a seven-month layoff to capture the GIII Salvator Mile last weekend at Monmouth.

“We were encouraged the way [Bright Future] had been training leading up to [the Salvator Mile], but it's always great to see them come back and perform well,” Pletcher added. “Hopefully, it's the start of a good summer and fall campaign for him.”

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