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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby at The Downey Profile®

Pletcher Sends Hedge Fund to Sir Barton


Hedge Fund, narrowly beaten in the Illinois Derby by Preakness entry Multiplier last time out, cuts back in class and distance in the $100,000 LARC Sir Barton to benefit the TAA.

From the barn of Todd Pletcher, Hedge Fund took command of the 1 1/8-mile Illinois Derby at the quarter pole and held grimly to the lead until losing by a head.

It was the second straight graded stakes start for the sophomore son of Pletcher’s 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. He tired to third after setting the pace in the Sunland Derby on March 26. Each of the first two finishers, Hence and Conquest Mo Money, are also running in Saturday’s Preakness.

“He put in a good effort last time. It was a tough beat in the Illinois Derby so this hopefully will work out for him,” Pletcher said. “We got a beautiful trip and got everything we wanted. He just kind of missed the bob. Jose Valdivia rode him that day and he said he didn’t really think he saw the horse coming on his outside and just got nailed.”

Hedge Fund didn’t debut until mid-December, running fifth in a six-furlong maiden special weight, but he was impressive winning by four lengths in his subsequent start Feb. 4 on the Fountain of Youth undercard.

“We felt like he was behind schedule a little bit to make the Triple Crown races,” Pletcher said. “He ran credibly at Sunland, and we kind of felt like hopefully he can step up into that top tier sometime down the road.”

True Timber was another late starter who didn’t race until mid-November. The Mineshaft colt was third in the Jerome to end his juvenile campaign and second in the Withers early this year. In both, he finished behind the highly regarded El Areeb.

True Timber prompted the pace before weakening to fifth in the Gotham Stakes in March and was fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial on April 8.

“He ran very well that day. We were happy with his race. He’s had a couple of nice races and he’s doing well,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “It is a restricted stake (on Saturday) so we like that, non-winners of an open sweepstakes. He’s doing very well.

“We always liked him, and we thought distance might help him as he started going further,” he added. “He’s a really nice horse, but he just wasn’t quite up to the top horses at that time. But he continues to train well so we’re going to continue to be hopeful. He’s a stakes horse, for sure.”

Also in the Sir Barton field are Honor the Fleet, a winner of two straight making his stakes debut; Time to Travel and Resiliency, fourth and 10th, respectively, in the Lexington Stakes on April 15; Greek Prince; Society Beau; No Mo Dough and Watch Me Whip.

Edited Maryland Jockey Club release

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