Pletcher flexes $4.195 million in purchases at Gulfstream
Todd Pletcher, who picked up a record seventh Eclipse Award for leading trainer last weekend, doesn’t have any starters in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby prep at Gulfstream Park, the $400,000 Holy Bull (G2). But he’ll be represented by a lavish contingent on the undercard, with seven horses costing a combined $4.195 million in auction prices.
Pletcher’s high-priced runners are:
3RD Race: BATTLE RED ($270,000) will contest a 7 ½-furlong maiden special weight on turf and is listed as the 2-1 favorite on the morning line following four consecutive runner-up finishes, and five seconds in six career starts. Javier Castellano rides the Kitten’s Joy colt.
4TH Race: OVERCONTROL ($725,000) established himself as a highly-promising sophomore when winning at first asking on December 27, scoring by 4 ¼ easy lengths in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream, and the Tapit colt makes his second career attempt in a one-turn mile allowance. He’s listed as the 9-5 favorite with John Velazquez.
Stablemate BLAME GAME ($200,000) is also exiting a nice debut score, taking a six-furlong maiden by 3 ¼ lengths on December 16, and the son of Blame is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line with Castellano.
6TH Race: KHOZAN ($1,000,000) makes his anticipated career bow in a seven-furlong maiden test. By Distorted Humor, the three-year-old colt is out of the A.P. Indy mare Delta Princess, dam of the exquisite three-time champion and $4.8-million earner Royal Delta; and last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) winner Crown Queen. Castellano rides the early 7-2 second choice.
Stablemate PORCH POUNDER ($500,000) is the slight 3-1 morning line favorite in his first career outing. From the first crop of Quality Road, the dark bay is out of a mare that is a full sister to Quiet Dance, dam of Horse of the Year Saint Liam and four other stakes winners. Velazquez will be up.
7TH Race: STANFORD ($550,000) returns in the seven-furlong Hutcheson (G3), making his first appearance since a sixth in the Saratoga Special (G2) last August. The Malibu Moon colt captured his career debut at Monmouth Park in late June and will be making his third career start. He’s listed at 6-1 with Velazquez.
9TH Race: ENCHANTRESS ($950,000) will square off against 10 three-year-old filly rivals in the seven-furlong Forward Gal (G2). The daughter of Malibu Moon exits a five-length romp over entry-level allowance foes at Gulfstream on December 13 and will be making her fourth career outing with Velazquez. Closely related to multiple Grade 1-winning sire First Samurai, she is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line.