Pletcher Discusses His Five Prospects
Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming and Louisiana Derby runner-up Patch breezed Friday morning at Palm Beach Downs, four days out from being shipped to Churchill Downs. Todd Pletcher was there for the workouts.
Video of Always Dreaming Workout
“I thought it was excellent,” said Pletcher, who watched Always Dreaming work alone under John Velazquez in 1:01.40. “We were looking for a nice, steady, solid stamina-building breeze. He was very relaxed, very happy, moving well, and galloped out great. I was very happy. He’s been training great, eating well, energy level has been good. We’re really excited about how he’s doing.
“We have a flight to Churchill on Tuesday and an important work over the track there. Hopefully, he takes to that surface the way he has to every other surface he’s been on and he stays healthy.”
Patch, who finished second in the Louisiana Derby in just his third career start, worked five furlongs in 1:01.45.
“He’s not as impressive a work horse as Always Dreaming,” Pletcher said. “He’s more of a workmanlike breeze horse. I thought it was a good, steady five-eighths, typical of what we saw from him all winter and spring.
“I was very pleased for him to go to Fair Grounds and finish a good quality second, closing ground at the end and galloping out in front. I don’t think with his pedigree, being by a Belmont winner (Union Rags) and out of an A.P. Indy mare (Windyindy), that distance should be an issue. I’m a little concerned about his lack of experience, lack of seasoning, but so far he’s handled everything really, really well.”
Battalion Runner is expected to ship to Churchill Downs Sunday. Pletcher said the son of Unbridled’s Song has been doing well and believes there are reasons to think he will improve.from the Wood Memorial.
“It was his first race in 64 days and first at 1 1/8 miles, and I hope that brings him forward a bit,” he said.
Pletcher said he’s “drawing a line” through Tampa Bay Derby winner Tapwrit’s fifth-place finish in the Blue Grass on April 8.
“He got hung out pretty wide on the turn and ran kind of a flat race, but he seemed to come out well. Hopefully, he trains accordingly and comes back to his Tampa form,” the trainer said.
Pletcher said he’s undecided on what to do next with Rebel Stakes winner Malagacy, who finished fifth on April 15 in the Arkansas Derby.
Edited Gulfstream Park release with additional content by Dick Downey
Photo by Leslie Martin