Thursday, October 30, 2014
Contact: Sean Morris
Pletcher has strong hand for 2-year-old stakes on Sunday
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle two runners apiece in the Grade 3, $250,000 Nashua and Grade 3, $250,000 Tempted - a pair of juvenile stakes that highlight Sunday's card at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Pletcher, who on Saturday will send out Angela Renee and Daredevil as morning-line favorites in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Breeders' Cup Juvenile, respectively, will also have the program favorites in the Nashua and Tempted.
Blofeld, 8-5 morning-line favorite in the one-mile Nashua, is undefeated through two career starts and coming off a huge score in the Grade 2 Futurity on October 5 at Belmont Park. The Quality Road colt had a bit of trouble along the inside in the Futurity, but exploded late to win by three-quarters of a length and complete the six-furlong distance in 1:09.49.
The Glencrest Farm and JSM Equine color-bearer was equally impressive in his debut. After having to concede a sizeable advantage to the lightning-quick Signature Cat, Blofeld commenced a relentless pursuit in the five-furlong dash. Ultimately, the gray/roan colt prevailed by a length over Signature Cat and next-out winner and Nashua entrant El Kabeir.
Blofeld, who has earned Beyer Speed Figures of 88 and 100 for his first two starts, will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez from post 2.
Pletcher's other runner, Savoy Stomp, has only one career race under his belt, but it was an impressive one on September 27 at Belmont. Owned by Team Valor International and Southern Equine Stables, Savoy Stomp rode the rail into the stretch of the seven-furlong sprint and cruised to a two-length victory over a promising field of youngsters.
The $875,000 yearling purchase will be ridden by Javier Castellano, and will break from the rail. He sits at 8-1 on the morning line.
After encountering Blofeld in his debut, El Kabeir broke his maiden by 10 ¾ lengths and earned a Beyer of 93 for trainer John Terranova and Zayat Stables. The performance was good enough to make him the 5-2 second choice in the Grade 1 Champagne on October 4 at Belmont, but the gray/roan colt failed to handle the sloppy track that day and finished fourth, beaten 17 ¾ lengths by Daredevil.
El Kabeir, 4-1 on the morning line, drew post 6 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. named to ride.
First Down, a debut winner for trainer Tom Albertrani, Hebbronville, runner-up in the Futurity, and The Truth Or Else, third in the Champagne, complete the Nashua field.
In the one-mile Tempted, restricted to fillies, Pletcher will be represented by Enchantress and Miss Always Ready. The 7-5 morning-line favorite, Enchantress has raced only once, but made a positive impression when taking a six-furlong dash on October 4 at Keeneland by 6 ¾ lengths. The $950,000 purchase will break from post 6 with John Velazquez aboard.
Miss Always Ready made her debut on turf on August 10 at Saratoga Race Course, but broke her maiden in her second start in a one-mile, off-the-turf event on October 4 at Belmont. Owned by Three Chimneys Farm, Miss Always Ready will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post 7. She sits at 10-1 on the morning line.
Grade 2 Matron winner Paulassilverlining will join the fray for trainer Michelle Nevin, who will saddle By the Moon in the Juvenile Fillies, and owner Vincent Scuderi. Paulassilverlining has made three career starts and won two, while never racing beyond six furlongs. The daughter of Ghostzapper sits at 7-2 on the morning line, and drew post 4. Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the mount.
Rounding out the Tempted field are Save Rock and Roll, fourth in the Matron; Sunday Sonnet, who contested the Grade 1 Chandelier last out; Harlan's Honor, most recently fourth in the Selima Stakes at Laurel Park; and Jacaranda, an impressive debut winner for trainer Mike Hushion.