Todd Pletcher

Never Surprised Looks to Remain Perfect in Kitten's Joy

Never Surprised (Constitution) looks to take his perfect record to three-for-three Saturday as he tries graded company for the first time in the GIII Kitten's Joy S. A decisive debut winner sprinting on the turf at Aqueduct Nov. 8, the $200,000 KEESEP buy wired the field when stretching out to two turns next out in that venue's Central Park S. 20 days later. Bred on the same Constitution--Tiznow cross as MGISW Tiz the Law, the bay is favored in this sophomore bow and has three-time Eclipse winner Irad Ortiz in...

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'Competitive' Affair in Forward Gal

John Minchello's Competitive Speed (Competitive Edge) will put her three-race win streak on the line when she makes her debut in graded company in Saturday's GIII Forward Gal S. at Gulfstream Park. "This is going to be a big test, but I think she can make it," trainer Javier Gonzalez said. "She's doing good and she is one of those horses that is never going to make you look bad," he added. "I think she's going to run a very good race." Competitive Speed, sixth facing open maidens in the...

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Ready for 'Prime' Time in the Holy Bull

'TDN Rising Star' Prime Factor (Quality Road), a blowout maiden winner sprinting on debut at Gulfstream Dec. 12, heads straight to the big leagues in Saturday's GIII Holy Bull S. The WinStar Farm and CHC Inc. colorbearer, a $900,000 Keeneland September yearling, worked a bullet five furlongs in :59 4/5 (1/13) at Todd Pletcher's Palm Beach Downs base Jan. 23 in preparation of his two-turn debut. Prime Factor is out of a half-sister to fellow 'Rising Stars' Speightster (Speightstown) and West Coast Swing (Gone West) as well as SW Paiota...

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Jan. 30 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency PLETCHER, BROWN SADDLE INTRIGUING FIRSTERS 7th-GP, $50K, Msw, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 2:44p.m. Chad Brown unveils Christine and Phil Hatfield's ARISTON (Flatter) in this event. The $500,000 FTSAUG buy is a full to GSW Plainsman and a half to GSP Liam (Liam's Map). Their dam is a half to MGSW Southdale (Street Cry {Ire}). Todd Pletcher also saddles an interesting first timer in Avenue (Quality Road). Out of GSP Magic Union (Dixie Union), the $450,000 KEESEP acquisition is a half to GSP Tizamagician (Tiznow). TJCIS PPs...

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Report: Mutasaabeq Off Derby Trail

Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief), a stakes winner on both dirt and turf, will miss an expected start in Saturday's GIII Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream and is off the GI Kentucky Derby trail, according to a report by Daily Racing Form's Mike Welsch. The Shadwell Stable colorbearer and 'TDN Rising Star' annexed the Mucho Macho Man S. in Hallandale last out and also captured the GIII Bourbon S. on the Keeneland turf in October. "The versatile Mutasaabeq, impressive winner of the Mucho Macho Man, who was pointing for Saturday's Holy Bull...

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Jan. 23 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency INTRIGUING GROUP OF COLTS DEBUT ON PEGASUS UNDERCARD 6th-GP, $50K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 2:04 p.m. This salty Pegasus World Cup day maiden special is littered with firsters with big pedigrees and big price tags, including a half-brother to undefeated Triple Crown hero Justify (Scat Daddy) named STAGE RAIDER (Pioneerof the Nile). After RNAing for $950,000 at KEESEP, the bay will carry the colors of breeder John Gunther and will be saddled by Chad Brown. In addition to Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male...

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Pletcher Holds Strong Hand in Pegasus Turf

Todd Pletcher saddles a strong trio in Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) Largent (Into Mischief) and Social Paranoia (Street Boss) in Saturday's $1-million GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational S. at Gulfstream. Breaking his maiden via DQ in his career bow over the main track here in April, the $1.2-million OBSAPR buy was third next out in a sloppy optional claimer in Hallandale in May and scored a decisive victory when switched to the lawn at Saratoga July 22. Fourth in the Saratoga Derby Invitational S. Aug. 15, the gray rallied...

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Union Rags Colt Returns at Gulfstream

9th-Gulfstream, $47K, 4yo/up, 6f, post time: 4:42 p.m. Shadwell's ARHAM (Union Rags) was favored in his career debut for Todd Pletcher and justified the support with an eye-catching seven-length romp over this track and trip Dec. 17. The 4-year-old is out of Sanaaya (Smart Strike), herself the daughter of the Pletcher-trained Spun Sugar (Awesome Again), a winner of a trio of graded stakes, including the GI Apple Blossom H. and GI Go For Wand H. TJCIS PPs

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Breeders' Cup Winner Bulletin Set For Delayed Aussie Debut

Bulletin (City Zip), who took the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs in 2018, makes his Australian debut for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in Saturday's A$125,000 Sky Racing Active H. over 1100 meters at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney. He was scratched from a similar spot last weekend at Randwick. Bred in Kentucky by CresRan and sold for $250,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, Bulletin first raced for the partnership of WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing and was trained by...

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Noble Mission's Jouster Says Good 'Knight' to Gulfstream Rivals in Rising Star Romp

Jouster (Noble Mission {GB}), a beaten favorite twice on dirt to start her career, took to the turf with dazzling aplomb in the Sunday finale at Gulfstream, running away to a devastating maiden romp and 'TDN Rising Star' honors. Unveiled over six furlongs in the Saratoga slop Aug. 29, the $360,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga buy showed big speed before fading to finish second, and again retreated after setting the pace stretching out to a mile Sept. 26 at Belmont. Freshened up since then for a barn that has, as per usual,...

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Mutasaabeq Makes Successful Dirt Return in Mucho Macho Man

'TDN Rising Star' Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief), already a graded winner on turf of the GII Bourbon S. at Keeneland last season, returned to the main track and asserted his authority late to take Saturday's Mucho Macho Man S. at Gulfstream Park. Away in good order, the $425,000 Keeneland November weanling fell into a good stalking trip as Awesome Gerry took them along at a solid tempo down the backstretch. The 11-10 chalk appeared to be making hard work of it as they hit the three-furlong marker and Luis Saez was...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Dec. 30

We're now inside the 125-day mark until the first Saturday in May. The debut 2021 GI Kentucky Derby rankings are compiled largely with an eye toward sophomore prowess rather than lauding horses for accomplishments at age two. Interestingly, five homebreds have secured spots within the initial Top 12, a departure from previous seasons when there were only one or two. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (Ky); T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144. Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Kee, Nov. 6 Accomplishments Include:...

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