Tag: Todd Pletcher

Following Sea and Joel Rosario wired the field in Saturday's Grade 2 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park. This victory gives trainer Todd Pletcher options on which Breeders' Cup race the 3-year-old will run. (Image: NYRA Photo)

Following Sea’s Vosburgh Victory Gives Pletcher Enviable Options

Even as he reveled in Following Sea’s gate-to-wire victory in Saturday’s six-furlong Grade 2 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park, trainer Todd Pletcher said he planned lengthier travels for his 3-year-old. “He’s a very talented horse and trains very impressively. He’s also galloped out in a fashion that would indicate he […]

Art Collector and jockey Luis Saez's gutsy victory in the Charles Town Classic sets them up for Saturday's Grade 1 Woodward Stakes. Art Collector is the 3/1 third-favorite to win his first Grade 1. (Image: Coady Photography)

Woodward Stakes Returns to Belmont Park With Wide Open Field

The Grade 1 Woodward Stakes returns to Belmont Park for the first time since 2005, bringing with it a field full of intriguing characters at varying points in their careers. And all seeking validation for where they are in those varying points. One of two Grade 1s on Belmont Park’s […]

Gunite showed off his versatility winning the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga last month. He comes with 4/1 morning-line value for Saturday's Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. (Image: Sarah Andrew)

Champagne Stakes Bubbles With Four Legitimate Juvenile Contenders

The Grade 1 Champagne Stakes predates the Kentucky Derby by eight years. In fact, the one mile juvenile test that sets the early bar for Derby prospects appeared only two years after the Civil War ended. Derby preps have to get their momentum somewhere, which is where the Champagne pours forth. Saturday’s test […]

Life Is Good returns to action in Saturday's Grade 2 Kelso Stakes at Belmont Park. He'll return with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons instead of usual pilot Mike Smith, seen here.. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Life Is Good Looms Large Over Small Kelso Field

Coming out of a layoff into a Grade 1 proved a minor annoyance for Life Is Good. Now, the 3-year-old standout will face another hurdle when he takes on older horses for the first time in Saturday’s Grade 2 Kelso at Belmont Park. When we last saw Life Is Good […]

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. salutes Wit after piloting the 2-year-old to an eight-length Sanford Stakes victory in July. Wit is the 7/5 favorite to win the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes on Saratoga's Monday closing card. (Image: Janet Garaguso/Coglianese Photos)

Remain Hopeful About Juvenile Derby Candidates in the Hopeful Stakes

By several hours, the Hopeful Stakes get the honor of being the first Grade 1 of the year for 2-year-old males. That means it gives horseplayers the first glimpse of possible 2022 Kentucky Derby contenders. In this edition of the 117-year-old, seven-furlong sprint on Saratoga’s closing day, you get 11 […]

Happy Saver (right) shakes pursuer Mystic Guide in deep stretch of last year's Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Happy Saver seeks to be the 11th repeat champion of one of the New York Racing Association's most historic events. (Image: Chelsea Durand/NYRA)

Happy Saver Leads Chase Toward Jockey Club Gold Cup History

The Jockey Club Gold Cup trophy carries the names of four Triple Crown winners: Gallant Fox (1930), Whirlaway (1942), Citation (1948) and Affirmed (1979). You’ll find Hall of Famers like Man o’ War (1920), Hill Prince (1950), Sword Dancer (1959), Buckpasser (1966), Damascus (1967), Forego (1974), John Henry (1981), Easy […]

Can anyone stop the runaway train that is Essential Quality? Six others try derailing the 4/5 favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos/NYRA)

The Travers: Can Anyone Catch History-Making Essential Quality?

Brad Cox and Essential Quality are simultaneously chasing Travers Stakes history and running from it at the same time. This counterintuitive feat illustrates Cox’s training prowess, Essential Quality’s running prowess, and the Travers’ recent prowess as a destroyer of favorites. Cox, who trains the prohibitive 4/5 favorite for Saturday’s headline […]

Last time out at Saratoga, Jackie's Warrior splashed to a 7 1/2-length victory in the Grade 2 Amsterdam. He's the even-money favorite to win Saturday's Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial. (Image: Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos)

Jackie’s Warrior, Life Is Good, Drain the Clock: This Jerkens is Wide Open

The H. Allen Jerkens Memorial draws its name from the legendary New York trainer who earned a well-deserved reputation for springing massive upsets. Among Jerkens’ victims were the distinguished likes of Kelso, Buckpasser, Cougar II, and Forego. Then, there was Secretariat. Two Jerkens also-rans defeated the 20th century’s greatest Thoroughbred: […]

Florida Derby winner Known Agenda will begin his stud career in 2022 at Spendthrift Farm. He retired with three wins in eight career races. (Image: Autry Graham Photo/Spendthrift Farm)

Florida Derby Champ Known Agenda Retired to Stud at Spendthrift Farm

Known Agenda, the talented, but temperamental colt, was retired from racing Wednesday. He’ll begin stud duty at Spendthrift Farm in 2022. The farm announced this year’s Florida Derby winner will stand for an initial fee of $10,000. No reason was given for his sudden retirement, but Known Agenda hasn’t run […]

Express Train and Juan Hernandez captured the San Diego Handicap, considered a prep for Saturday's Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Express Train is the 3/1 morning-line favorite in a deep, competitive field. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Pacific Classic Comes In With a Tide of Legitimate Contenders

There isn’t a lot of star power in this year’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. What there is, however, is one of Jon White’s more challenging morning-line puzzles. Del Mar’s morning-line author, White found himself staring at one of the most competitive fields he’s faced this summer. Yes, […]

Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat had her five-race win streak snapped by Maracuja in last month's CCA Oaks. She seeks payback in Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

M & M Girls Malathaat and Maracuja Take Center Stage in the Alabama

There are would-be party crashers to Saturday’s Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. There’s Crazy Beautiful. There’s Clairiere. Solid 3-year-olds with solid, proven resumes. However, the two “C” fillies find themselves relegated to that party-crasher role. That’s courtesy of the two “M” fillies – Malathaat and Maracuja – who hold […]

Mr Wireless called up this nearly four-length Indiana Derby victory last month. He returns as the 9/5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade 3 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. (Image: Coady Photography)

West Virginia Derby Returns, Bringing Bourbonic and Mr. Wireless Back

The West Virginia Derby is back after a year’s hiatus. And so are Mr. Wireless and Bourbonic, who headline Saturday’s Grade 3 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. The two 3-year-olds provide the recognizable names for the 1 1/8-mile race, which skipped 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those created logistical […]

After a disappointing Kentucky Derby, Dynamic One returned from a nearly three-month racing layoff to win the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga. The $725,000 colt may run the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga next. (Image: Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)

Dynamic One Was Finally Just That in the Curlin; Travers Likely Next

Yes, Dynamic One’s victory came in a listed stakes, the Curlin. Yes, it came in a 3-year-old race buried in the laundry that is Jim Dandy Weekend at Saratoga – especially with star sophomore Essential Quality headlining. But Friday’s Curlin, which was limited to 3-year-olds who had not won a […]

Maracuja (left) outkicked previous unbeaten Malathaat to win last Saturday's CCA Oaks. The two are on a path to tangle again in the Aug. 21 Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Elsa Lorieul/NYRA)

After CCA Oaks Upset, We’re Ready for Maracuja vs. Malathaat 3.0

Maracuja and Malathaat put on such a show in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, that you can’t wait to see the rematch between the two 3-year-old fillies. And, it’s looking like we will at the Aug. 21 Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. Trainers for […]

Malathaat's unbeaten record and versatile running style makes her an odds-on favorite to win the Grade 1 CCA Oaks at Saratoga. (Image: Jamie Newell/TwinSpires.com)

Where Did Everyone Go? Malathaat Scares Off Would-Be CCA Oaks Rivals

If you remember back in May, the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks is the race that Todd Pletcher put on Malathaat’s calendar. This was the race Pletcher and owner of the undefeated 3-year-old circled – as they were crossing off any Belmont Stakes plans. Now, because of Malathaat’s considerable […]

Wit breezed to an eight-length victory in Saturday's Sanford Stakes at Saratoga. He vaulted to the front of 2022 Kentucky Derby prospects, winning his two races by a combined 14 lengths. (Image: Susie Raisher/Coglianese Photos)

Wit Shows He’s No Joke as a Promising 2022 Kentucky Derby Prospect

It’s never too early to put promising 2-year-olds on your Kentucky Derby radar screen, which is why it’s time to say hello to one of the most promising juveniles of 2021 – Wit. The Todd Pletcher charge graduated to graded stakes champion on Saturday, capturing the Grade 3 Sanford Stakes […]

Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie hasn't finished worse than third in his last six races. He looks for his first Grade 1 victory as the 6/5 favorite in Saturday's Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park. (Image: Jamie Newell/TwinSpires.com)

A Triple Crown Placers War by the Jersey Shore Headlines Haskell Stakes

The first thought that comes to mind when you see Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon and Hot Rod Charlie lined up as the three headliners for Saturday’s Grade 1 Haskell Stakes is that deja-vu sense of familiarity. You’ve seen these three clash repeatedly, but there’s something else about them that stands out. […]

Irish colt Bolshoi Ballet came across the Atlantic and grabbed favorite status in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational. The colt won two of his last three starts, including this score at the Ballysax Stakes. (Image: INPHO/Peter Mooney)

The Belmont Derby Gives You International Flavor, Domestic Depth

The Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational offers up a Kentucky Derby alum, along with a former Bob Baffert colt who may be the turf star of his generation. It also gives you one of Europe’s top turf terrors, straight from the barn of that continent’s top trainer – Aidan O’Brien. […]

The freakish speed of Life is Good returned to the track Thursday for the first time since March. When he's ready to race, Life is Good will do so under new trainer Todd Pletcher. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Life is Good Hits the Track, Hits the Road from Baffert to Pletcher

The fallout from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s suspension from New York Racing Association tracks manifested itself again Thursday when WinStar Farm president and CEO Elliott Walden said he will send star 3-year-old Life is Good to Todd Pletcher once the horse is ready to return. That return may […]