Theory dominates Futurity

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

October 15th, 2016

Theory ran to expectations in Saturday's $196,000 Futurity (G3) at Belmont Park, heading long-time leader Moves Like Ali at the eighth pole and drawing off to win by 3 1/2 lengths under Javier Castellano.

The 3-10 favorite in the field of five juveniles, Theory tracked in second through fractions of :22.62 and :45.35, and proved much the best to extended his record to two wins from as many starts. The final time for six furlongs on a fast track was 1:09.91.

Owned by WinStar Farm and China Horse Club, the Todd Pletcher charge paid $2.70.

"He's a very good-minded horse," Pletcher said. "He's got a great disposition and he's not headstrong in any way. I anticipated he would rate fine and I wasn't surprised that he did. The way he ran today, the way he finished, I think gives us a lot of options.

Two-time winner Star Empire, third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) in his stakes debut, rallied late for second by a length ahead of Moves Like Ali. The Walk, who stumbled badly at the start, finished fourth and was followed by second choice Reckling.

A flashy debut winner by 5 1/2 lengths at Saratoga on July 30 going six furlongs, Theory missed an intended start in the Hopeful (G1) after developing a foot bruise. After recuperation time at WinStar in Kentucky, the son of Gemologist returned to Pletcher's barn at Belmont, where he worked five times in advance of the Futurity. His earnings are now $169,800.

"Today, with the way he ran, the way he galloped out and came back, I think we at least have to sit down and have that discussion," said Pletcher when asked whether the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita was among those aforementioned options.

Bred in Kentucky by Fred Hertrich III and Ronald Kirk, Theory was sold for $120,000 at Keenelad September and then for $335,000 at the OBS April sale of two-year-olds. He was reared by the Officer mare Gem Sleuth, a stakes-placed half-sister to stakes scorer Buddy Got Even.

A half-brother to stakes winner Roman Officer, Theory counts as his third dam the multiple Grade 1 winner Tallahto, who reared Grade 1 scorers Prince True and Hidden Light. The latter, in turn, produced Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) winner Artie Schiller.

(Adam Coglianese Photography)