SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown were both pretty busy Saturday morning in Saratoga, working with some of their barn’s top stars. GI Belmont S. runner-up Nest (Curlin) appeared in the final breeze Saturday morning before a rematch with Secret Oath (Arrogate) on July 23 in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks.
Hall of Fame coach Todd Pletcher said the girl “works great” after she wrapped five outerwear with the champion Cornice (Quality Sugar) in 1:01.44 under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. on the main track.
Secret Oath and Nest ran either in the GI Kentucky Oaks. They then jumped into the Triple Crown series with Secret Oath finishing fourth in GI Preakness S. and Nest placing second ahead of stable teammate Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) in Belmont. Secret Oath and Nest could also meet in GI Alabama on August 20.
Nest is a member of Pletcher’s runners-up battalion headed for stake classification in Saratoga. Life is good (Into Mischief) crossed half a mile at: 49.49 on July 15 for GI Whitney S. August 6. Americanrevolution (Structure), runner-up in the GII Stephen Foster, and Move one (Union Rags), winner of the GII Suburban, is attending the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 3.
Pletcher said that Charge it (Tapit) will train to HOLD Runhappy Travers August 27. In his first start since finishing 17th in the GI Kentucky Derby, the Whisper Hill Ranch hybrid beat his opponent in the GIII Dwyer S. May 2 7 at Belmont Park, winning 23 races ahead.
“It was the first time I watched a race in Belmont and really looked at the Secretariat column as they were reaching the finish line,” Pletcher said. “It was like, ‘wow’. He is a horse that we thought a lot about from the beginning. He showed he’s still a bit green in the Florida Derby and has changed his taste in the Kentucky Derby, so I think we’re starting to do it all together. In terms of talent, he’s as good as anyone in the crop, just as long as he can keep growing.”
Jeff Down’s Zandon (Start up) worked half a mile in: 49.69 Saturday to prepare for his scheduled start at GII Jim Dandy on July 30.
Jim Dandy, the local racer gearing up for the Travers, will be Zandon’s first race after he finished third in the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby.
Meanhile, two of Brown’s other 3-year-old ponies have won shares, GI Preakness star S. Vote early (Gunman) and the undefeated Jack Christopher (Munnings) worked at Belmont Park. Jack Christopher will be at the GI Haskell Invitational S. next weekend at Monmouth Park. Brown has yet to issue a call on whether Early Voting will take place in Haskell or Jim Dandy.
“I’ll decide in the morning,” Brown said. “I’ll see how all the horses come out before I make a decision.”
Brown was pleased with how Zandon handled the breeze.
“The horse is doing very well,” he said.
Zandon’s job under veteran driver Kriss Bon is his first time competing in Saratoga this summer and satisfying a few goals.
“Just let him stretch his legs,” Brown said. “He is working in Belmont. I refreshed him after the Derby. I am really pleased with him. He put some weight in. He really looks better than ever right now. Anyway, I just gave him a bit of a breather after finishing the race. Our plan was just to get him across the track and get him to have a good feeling about it and he couldn’t have been better.”
Despite his strong performance in the Derby, Zandon was never a possibility for Belmont as Brown said he did not consider him a one-and-a-half mile horse. But Brown is confident he will get the nearly three-month break between races.
“Just know the horse, it will run well, fresh,” Brown said. “I can only see that in his coaching. The way he matures, the way he works gives me a lot of confidence that he will be ready to leave.
Early voting is effectively four times at: 49.25 and Jack Christopher counts as: 49.80 for the same distance.