Todd Pletcher

Mystic Guide Returns in Suburban
Mystic Guide Returns in Suburban

Godolphin homebred Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper), off since winning the G1 Dubai World Cup in March, makes his stateside return in the GII Suburban S. at Belmont Park Saturday. The Suburban, a 'Win and You're In' race for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, will feature a rematch between the handsome chestnut and Happy Saver (Super Saver), who bested him by 3/4 lengths in last year's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup. In addition to his runner-up effort in the Gold Cup last October, Mystic Guide's 3-year-old campaign also included a win in...

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This Side Up: Happy Days Here Again

A year that began with the loss of two of the most lavish, Prince Khaled Abdullah and Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, is aptly measuring the reinvigoration of the breed achieved by modern investors from the same deserts where it first took root. Godolphin owes Derby wins at both Epsom and the Curragh to colts by Prince Khaled's greatest bequest, Frankel (GB); while its U.S. division laid down a marker of continuity and vitality when Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) won the G1 Dubai World Cup just three days after its founder's brother...

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Super Saver Colt Last to First in Bashford Manor

Double Thunder put an exclamation point on what was already a great day for both his trainer Todd Pletcher and sire Super Saver with a decisive score in the GIII Bashford Manor S. at Churchill Downs. Just 15 minutes prior, Pletcher, who was also celebrating his birthday Saturday, won the GII Mother Goose S. at his Belmont base with Zaajel (Street Sense). Also, four races earlier at Churchill, Super Saver's Letruska took the GII Fleur de Lis S. The gray broke fine, but backed out of it immediately to trail...

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Life Is Good to Pletcher, Returns to Worktab

by Bill Finley and Steve Sherack Undefeated and considered one of the most promising horses in the sport, Life Is Good (Into Mischief) will soon join the Todd Pletcher stable. He had been trained by Bob Baffert, who has lost a number of top horses due to his ongoing problems involving the Medina Spirit (Protonico) positive in the GI Kentucky Derby for betamethasone. After winning the GII San Felipe S., Mar. 6 at Santa Anita, Life Is Good was sidelined and ruled out of the Triple Crown races after coming...

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Hall of Fame Assistants

The relationship between trainer and assistant can often be tumultuous and fleeting, while in other instances, it can prove life-altering and enduring. And every once in a while, the spark ignites, paving the road to great glory and even the Hall of Fame. When it was announced that trainer Todd Pletcher would be inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame this summer, most could not have been surprised that the 53-year-old would have been granted the honor in his very first year of eligibility. In truth, there...

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Repole Keeping His 'Wits' About Him

How badly does New York native Mike Repole want to win the GI Belmont Stakes? Well, if the scene in the winner's circle following the eye-catching unveiling of 'TDN Rising Star' Wit (c, 2, Practical Joke--Numero d'Oro, by Medaglia d'Oro) after a tardy start in the blockbuster card's 11:35 a.m. lidlifter was any indication, NYRA may have to start constructing a larger enclosure. "I had six horses running on Belmont day and had 50 family and friends there," Repole said. "Here he is at 2-5 and eighth after spotting the...

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June 12 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency BLUEBLOODS APLENTY IN BELMONT MSW 2nd-BEL, $90K, Msw, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:31p.m. Five of the six horses set to line up in Belmont's second race Saturday are sophomore colts with big pedigrees and/or price tags. Vindictive (Uncle Mo) is the only one of that quintet making his career bow in this test for trainer Todd Pletcher. The $200,000 KEESEP purchase is out of MSW & GSP Exotic Bloom (Montbrook), who is also the dam of MGISW Stopchargingmaria (Tale of the Cat). Winner of the GI Breeders'...

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Ortiz Sidelined Two Weeks

Irad Ortiz, Jr., the leading rider at the current Belmont spring/summer meet, will be out of action for about two weeks after being unseated in Thursday's fifth race, agent Steve Rushing said. The 28-year-old, who has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey for the past three years running, was transported to hospital for further evaluation and cleared. "A CT scan and X-rays were negative," said Rushing. "He will probably be out for two weeks." Ortiz was named to ride Known Agenda (Curlin) in Saturday's GI Belmont S. Trainer Todd...

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'Quality' Over Quantity in Triple Crown Finale

ELMONT, NY -- What a difference a year makes. Back in its traditional spot on the calendar and 1 1/2-mile distance after the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world-and Triple Crown-completely upside down in 2020, Saturday's GI Belmont S. will feature a showdown between last year's champion 2-year-old colt Essential Quality (Tapit) and GI Preakness S. upsetter Rombauer (Twirling Candy). The Godolphin homebred was unstoppable in his first five career starts, headed by a win in the 2020 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the GI...

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Rubber Match for 'Liam,' 'Spending' in Manhattan

At the conclusion of the May 1 GI Old Forestor Bourbon Turf Classic at Churchill Downs there was no room to spare between Robert and Lawana Low's Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) and Klaravich Stables' Domestic Spending (Kingman {GB}) who crossed the wire in unison and the duo will attempt to separate themselves in Saturday's GI Resorts World Casino Manhattan S. at Belmont. Domestic Spending is trained by Chad Brown, who has won the 1 1/2-mile race on seven occasions, including the last two most recent renewals. On the board in...

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Saturday's Racing Insights: Babies Kick off Big Belmont Card

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-BEL, $90K, Msw, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 11:35 a.m. Juvenile colts kick off the festivities on GI Belmont S. day. Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle three for the big one, and two members of the next generation in here. Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable and Gainesway Stable's Wit (Practical Joke) was a $575,000 Keeneland September buy. He is a half brother to the talented Washington-based GSW Barkley (Munnings). Wit's stablemate Keepcalmcarryon (Union Rags) cost $75,000 at the same auction. His dam Lavender Chrissie (Scat Daddy) was...

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Runhappy's Following Sea Romps at Belmont

3rd-Belmont, $85,560, Alw, 6-3, (NW1$X), 3yo/up, 6 1/2f, 1:15.28, gd, 6 1/2 lengths. FOLLOWING SEA (c, 3, Runhappy--Quick Flip {SW}, by Speightstown) repeated his 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy graduation with a facile romp against allowance company at Belmont Friday. Disqualified from second and placed third on debut at Santa Anita Mar. 6, the Spendthrift homebred stormed home to a 5 3/4-length victory next out at Oaklawn Apr. 10, leading home a Runhappy one-two over next-out Hot Springs maiden romper Happymac. Pointed for Pimlico's GIII Chick Lang S. following that effort, he...

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