Three 3-year-olds, including a pair of Todd Pletcher trainees, will race against older horses in the $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park. 3-year-olds Trippi, More Than Ready, and Valiant Halory will be in receipt of a three-pound weight concession from the eight older horses entered, including A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) winner Successful Appeal.
Pletcher sends out both Trippi and King's Bishop (gr. I) winner More Than Ready in the seven-furlong Vosburgh. Trippi has already faced and defeated his elders, winning the Yom Fool Handicap (gr. II) by 4 1/2 lengths. Trippi finished third in his last start and missed some training afterwards with a bruised left-front hoof.
"He missed about seven days of training," Pletcher said. "He's training better now than he has his whole career. He and More Than Ready are running at the right distance and they're both coming up to the race well."
More Than Ready has won two races this year, both at the Vosburgh distance. After stretching out to routes following his dead-heat win in the Hutcheson (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park in January, More Than Ready returned to sprinting in the King's Bishop, closing through the stretch to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
"When the big 3-year-old races were over, we had to decide to try the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) or back up and try the Sprint (gr. I)," Pletcher said. "I think he'll be sharper now coming off a sprint than he was coming off a mile and an eighth."
Successful Appeal finished third in the Forego (gr. II) when last out and he will face the fourth- and fifth-place finishers from that race -- Iron Punch and One Way Love, respectively -- in the Vosburgh. Around this time last year, Successful Appeal won the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. II) prior to finishing fifth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
"I'd like for him to get an outside trip," said trainer John Kimmel. "He likes being the chaser instead of the chased one."
The field for the Vosburgh will consist of:
1--Trippi, Jerry Bailey
2--More Than Ready, Pat Day
3--Valiant Halory, John Velavquez
4--Iron Punch, Carlos Cruz
5--Successful Appeal, Edgar Prado
6--Delaware Township, Joe Bravo
7--One Way Love, Jorge Chavez
8--Western Expression, Norberto Arroyo Jr.
9--Makeyourselfathome, Jose Delgado
10--Stalwart Member, Kent Desormeaux
11--Istinaj, Richard MiglioreAll starters to carry 126 pounds except for Trippi, More Than Ready, and Valiant Halory, who will carry 123 pounds.