Todd Pletcher

Into Mischief Colt Romps in 'Rising Star' Performance at the Spa

My Prankster (c, 2, Into Mischief--My Wandy's Girl, Flower Alley) put on a show for trainer Todd Pletcher on the GI Alabama S. undercard at Saratoga Saturday afternoon, easily good enough for 'TDN Rising Star' honors. My Prankster tipped his hand with a four-furlong gate move in :47 (2/114) two back at Saratoga Aug. 8 and was off at odds of 7-2 in this loaded field. He was ridden from his inside draw by Luis Saez and chased early from third. Guided to the outside, he ranged up three wide...

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Essential Quality Leads Runhappy Travers Breezers

It was a busy morning at Saratoga for 3-year-olds headed towards next Saturday's $1.25-million GI Runhappy Travers S. at Saratoga, headed by GI Belmont S. hero and reigning champion juvenile Essential Quality (Tapit). The 'TDN Rising Star,' ridden by leading jockey Luis Saez, worked outside of stablemate Bonny South (Munnings) and the duo covered five furlongs in 1:01.58 (10/18). The Godolphin homebred was caught in fractions of :11.40, :23.22 and :47.81 before galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15 flat. Juddmonte's enigmatic Bonny South is also scheduled to race...

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Sunday's Insights: Fancy Fillies Kick off Festivities at Spa

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f, post time: 1:05 p.m. ET A pair of half-sisters to Grade I winners line up for top trainers in the Sunday opener. Red Oak Stable homebred Goddess of Fire (Mineshaft) is out of speedy stakes winner Feel That Fire (Lightnin N Thunder), making her a half to Mind Control (Stay Thirsty), a debut winner at two who took the GI Hopeful S. in 2018 here, GI H. Allen Jerkens S. the following season and was last seen annexing...

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Con Lima Sweetens Spa Toasts

It's the kind of tale that might prompt a listening barman to catch the eye of one of the regulars and give a wink. Sure you have, pal. A Texas-bred Commissioner filly? You hear that, folks? This guy has a $22,000 2-year-old RNA with a Hall of Fame trainer. And she's the top turf sophomore filly in America. Well I guess it must be your round, buddy. But nobody needs to tell Joseph F. Graffeo, himself the son of a bartender, the kind of odds being confounded by Con Lima,...

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Todd Pletcher Positive for COVID-19

Trainer Todd Pletcher has tested positive for COVID-19, and will continue to isolate until Thursday, he confirmed via text Sunday morning. Pletcher, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, August 6, said that he sought out the test after experiencing allergy-like symptoms and after a co-worker tested positive. "I got the results back this morning," he said via text. "Starting Monday, I thought I was experiencing some allergies. Since I've been vaccinated, I wasn't concerned as I didn't have any traditional Covid symptoms. Late Friday, a co-worker...

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Doctor Jeff Steps Up in Saratoga Special

Michael Dubb and Michael Caruso's Doctor Jeff (Street Boss), a first-out winner in a six-furlong off-turf maiden special weight at Belmont Park July 10, will step right up to graded company as the 2-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's GII Saratoga Special S. The chestnut colt earned a Special field-high 78 Beyer Speed Figure for his 2 1/4-length debut win and he has recorded three breezes over the main track at Saratoga, including a bullet five-furlong work in :59.61 Sunday, for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. "I'm just very happy with the way...

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Con Lima Box to Wire in Saratoga Oaks

Sunday, Saratoga SARATOGA OAKS INVITATIONAL S.-GIII, $700,000, Saratoga, 8-8, 3yo, f, 1 3/16mT, 1:54.42, fm. 1--CON LIMA, 121, f, 3, by Commissioner 1st Dam: Second Street City (SW, $209,843), by Consolidator 2nd Dam: Trix City, by Carson City 3rd Dam: Always Nettie, by Vice Regent ($15,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV; $19,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEESEP; $22,000 RNA 2yo '20 OBSMAR). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph F. Graffeo, Eric Nikolaus Del Toro & Troy Johnson; B-Lisa Kuhlmann (TX); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Flavien Prat. $375,000. Lifetime Record: 13-7-5-0, $884,865. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click...

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It's All About the Horses..And Their Trainers at HOF Induction Ceremony

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--To punctuate his acceptance speech that concluded the Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday, trainer Todd Pletcher used a favorite line of the late Cot Campbell, the Thoroughbred owner and colorful racing personality who was one of his longtime patrons. "It's not going to sound nearly as cool coming from me, he was a cool guy," Pletcher said, "but most of all, I want to thank the horses, the horses and the horses." Campbell's words were a fitting coda for racing's annual feel-good day that salutes the best...

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This Side Up: Asmussen Poised to Convert Silver to Gold

Could happen, you know. Within the random weavings of the Thoroughbred, after all, it's always tempting to discern some pattern suggestive of a coherent, governing narrative. And if Silver State (Hard Spun) were to win the GI Whitney S., and in the process happened to become the 9,446th winner saddled by his trainer, it might well feel as though 35 years of skill and endeavor, processed daily through random fluctuations of good or bad luck, have all led logically and inexorably to this pinnacle. The trouble is that whoever came...

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Bourbonic Gets Class Relief in West Virginia Derby

Calumet Farm's Bourbonic (Bernardini), overmatched in two legs of the Triple Crown after scoring a Grade II upset this spring, will step a few rungs down the class ladder Saturday when invading Mountaineer Park for the track's signature race on the calendar, the GIII West Virginia Derby. Breaking his maiden by open lengths for a $50,000 tag Dec. 6 at Aqueduct, the homebred repeated in a starter/optional claiming spot there Jan. 17 and was runner-up in a sloppy Parx allowance/optional claimer Feb. 23. Ambitiously spotted by Todd Pletcher off that...

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Maker Barn Sprints to Early Spa Lead

Mike Maker, with 42 training titles at Kentucky's five racetracks, is very much a contender this summer for the coveted prize at Saratoga Race Course. A remarkable stretch of nine wins from 25 starters last week pushed Maker to the top of the table with 14 wins in the first 14 days of the 40-day season. He had at least one winner in each of the five racing days of the week and his stable hit the board at a 72% rate. That run of success enabled Maker to finish...

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More Than Ready, It's Pletcher's Time

For at least a decade, there were no "if" or "when" questions about Todd Pletcher and the Hall of Fame. If? By the time he won the GI Kentucky Derby for the first time with Super Saver in 2010, Pletcher, then a month away from his 43rd birthday, already had nine champions, four Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer, four national money-earned titles, had topped the Saratoga trainers table six times and had earned the Gulfstream Park training title for the seventh consecutive year. Super Saver's Derby triumph was his 72nd...

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