Pair of live turf horses for Pletcher

Profile Picture: James Scully

August 6th, 2016

Todd Pletcher conditioned 2007 turf champion English Channel but is better known for main track success. And when it comes to the turf in New York, Chad Brown is the trainer to fear. He doesn’t have the numbers of a Brown, who will send out multiple starters in the Lure and Waya (G3), but Pletcher could come out on top in a pair of Saratoga turf stakes today.

The Lure goes as Race 7 and French Group 1 winner Ectot will make his U.S. debut for Pletcher, who wins at a 28% clip off an extended layoff. The 5-year-old should find the 1 1/16-mile trip to his liking and appears to be training forwardly for his first start since October. Ectot is easily the class of the field.

Photo Call makes her third start off a freshening in Race 9, the 1 ½-mile Waya, and the front-running daughter of Galileo figures to receive a favorable trip on a moderate pace. Don’t be surprised to see the 5-year-old steal it on the front end from her rail post.

I also like Lewis Bay in the Test (G1) and will tab horse-for-the-course Upstart for an upset in the Whitney (G1).

The $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2) lost top contenders Mo Tom and Economic Model to scratches but there is still plenty of speed for probable favorite Cupid to deal with. The 1 1/8-mile distance doesn’t appear ideal as well for the front-runner and I’ll play against with Forevamo.

Trained by Al Stall Jr., the Uncle Mo colt rallied well, albeit belatedly for runner-up honors in the Pat Day Mile (G3) and exits a confidence-building victory over allowance foes. Forevamo can carry his improving form forward with a late-running win beneath Florent Geroux.