With a newfound career sprinting following a 13th-place finish May 1 in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Discreetly Mine notched his second graded stakes win of the summer with an easy win in the Aug. 2 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Saratoga. Joyce Robsham’s homebred son of Mineshaft won the 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds in 1:14.27.
It was 8 3/4 lengths back to second-place finisher Essence Hit Man. In Jack’s Memory was 1 1/2 lengths further back in third in the nine-horse field.
Essence Hit Man set the early pace from post 4, zipping through an opening quarter-mile in :21.45 and half-mile in :44.07. Discreetly Mine, with John Velazquez aboard, held the second spot early on, just waiting to pounce. In Jack’s Memory, a 25-1 shot, had a stalking position in third.
Discreetly Mine ranged up to the leader on the turn and easily accelerated to the lead with only mild encouragement from Velazquez. Down the stretch he drew off after being hit once by Velazquez’ whip. The six-furlong time was 1:07.76. He traveled his final half-furlong in :06.51.
"He broke well at the start," Velazquez said. "I held him a little bit to give him a break the first part of the race. I knew the pace was going pretty fast and once he broke from the gate, I knew he wanted to go. The speed (Essence Hit Man) took over and that was perfect for me to grab hold of my horse. He settled well and after that, it was pretty easy. As soon as I asked him to go, he opened up.”
Discreetly Mine paid $3.20, $2.60, and $2.20 as the odds-on favorite. Essence Hit Man paid $5.20, and $3.80, and In Jack’s Memory returned $6.20 to show. The 5-4 exacta paid $24.20.
Following the Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher returned Discreetly Mine to one-turn racing and the colt responded with a game second-place effort to D' Funnybone June 5 in the Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) going seven furlongs at Belmont Park. He returned to the races July 4 and rallied to win the six-furlong Jersey Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park.
"To watch him train all winter, I really felt like we were on the Derby trail in a legitimate way," Pletcher said. "The way he trained and galloped out I thought he might be able to do it, but now that we’ve backed up in distance he’s found his niche."
Out of grade I winner Pretty Discreet (by Private Account), Discreetly Mine has now won four of 12 starts with four second-place finishes to his credit. Earlier this year he won the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. As a 2-year-old, he was second in both the Futurity (gr. II) and Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont. He earned $90,000 for his efforts at the Spa, lifting his career mark to $649,350.
"The King’s Bishop (gr. I, seven furlongs, Aug. 28) is an obvious possible next start; we’ll see how he comes out of it," Pletcher said. "We certainly should be thinking about the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) at this point, but that’s a ways away, so we’ll see how he bounces out of this and go from there.”