Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Breeders' Cup Challenge...Tough luck for trainer Pletcher


No footage found.

Last week thoroughbred trainer Todd Pletcher lead his charge Game Face to a victory in the Princess Rooney Stakes a Breeders" Cup "win & your in" challenge race at South Florida's Calder Race Course.
This week-end Pletcher experienced a reversal of fortune entirely to familiar to this track-side handicapper. Pletcher had the favourite in both of this weekends "win & your in" races and failed to deliver on back to back days.
Saturday in the Greenwood Cup Stakes at Philadelphia Park, Pletcher's charge Nite Light had the services of Team Pletcher top jock John Velazquez and the betting publics support but was hung out to dry finishing fifth after a failed stretch bid. Alcomo a 6 year-old Brazilian bred trained by Eduardo Caramori? and ridden to victory by Willie Martinez claimed the guaranteed spot in the Breeders' Cup Marathon at Santa Anita in November.
Sunday was only slightly different. Unbridled Belle lacked her best under veteran rider Richard Migliore and for the second time in as many day a Todd Pletcher trainee would fail as the odds on choice. Both Unbridled Belle and second choice Icon Project were no match for pace minded front runner Swift Temper who barring down in the stretch put away her rivals and claimed a spot in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. All under the watchful eyes of jockey Alan Garcia.
Pletcher will continue to "throw'em out there" until all the guaranteed Breeders' Cup "win & your in" races have been exhausted. With a stable that dwarf all of his North American counter-parts Pletcher is more than cable of flooding the Breeders' Cup Challenge and tilting the scales in favour. Weather these tactics bare any fruit when November rolls around is another discussion for another day.
Plethcer and the rest of North America's Breeders' Cup hopefuls have two weeks to lick their wound before we get back to "win & your in" racing at Del Mar Race Track (Where the surf meets the turf) on Sunday August 2nd. The 1 1/16 mile San Diego Handicap will go to post Sunday afternoon three days before the 1 1/2 mile Cougar II Handicap. The San Diego winner will be guaranteed a spot in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile joining Salvator Mile winner and fellow "win & your in'er" Coal Play. The Cougar II winner will fill a spot in the Breeders' Cup Marathon joining Greenwood Handicap winner Alcomo on the list of qualified Marathon parties.
Zoltan Black
Hopefully the two week break will give me enough of a heads up to produce some solid pre-race coverage before August 2nd's San Diego Handicap roles around but in the world of thoroughbred horse racing you never can tell. 

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