Pletcher Trio Heads Flurry of Activity at Belmont Park

Edited from NYRA reports
Fox Ridge Farm's Riskaverse breezed five furlongs in 1:06 over a yielding inner turf course around a double set of dogs. The 4-year-old filly will run in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

"It was pretty slow by design," trainer Pat Kelly said. "I was worried about how soft the turf was."

Riskaverse has made two trips to California in her career, both of which were over the turf course at Hollywood Park.

"She's never been to Santa Anita, but I know she handles traveling very well," Kelly said.

Trainer Todd Pletcher worked his trio of Breeders' Cup starters -- Chapel Royal, Ashado, and Balto Star -- at Belmont Park Sunday morning.

Chapel Royal worked in company with Wild Light and went five furlongs in 1:00 2/5, breezing, with exercise rider Judy Krajewski.

"They're all fit horses and we were just kind of looking for maintenance works," Pletcher said. "The work for Chapel Royal was super."

Schuylerville (gr. II) and Spinaway (gr. I) winner Ashado breezed five furlongs in 1:01 with exercise rider David Jego up. She worked in company with Fisher Pond.

"That was a good work for Ashado," Plethcer said. "She's not a sensational work horse.

"In the 2-year-old races, post position will be very important in what appears to be 14-horse fields. Without a big run to the first turn, that could have a major impact on the way the races unfold. I hope they get lucky there."

Balto Star breezed five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 with Krajewski up. The Glitterman gelding will run in the John Deere Turf (gr. I).

"I was going to work Balto Star on the turf, but it seemed pretty soft yesterday, so I decided to work him on the dirt," Pletcher said. "How well Balto Star does will depend on how he takes to the turf course and what the pace scenario is like. He's proven on certain days he's able to step it up.
"They all seem like they're in good shape and we'll ship Tuesday."

Georgica Stable's Gazelle winner Buy the Sport, third behind Sightseek in the Beldame (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 in preparation for the Distaff.

"She came out of the last race fine," trainer Bob Barbara said. "She's a very healthy, happy and sound filly."

Buy the Sport will ship to California Wednesday.

"She'll walk tomorrow and we'll fool around with her a little bit on Tuesday," Barbara said. "Thursday morning, I'll probably just let her see the racetrack and school her over there."

Buy the Sport figures to be the rank outsider in a compact Distaff field.

"As far as the ability to beat those fillies, it's going to be tough," Barbara acknowledged. "There are some nice fillies. You hear some rumors now that Azeri might not run and that would help us. We'll see what happens. She'll give all she can. She's as honest as the day is long. There's no doubt that there are a couple that are better than her, at least on paper anyway. Who knows? Everybody can't have a great day all the time."

Godolphin Racing's Mezzo Soprano breezed six furlongs in 1:18 around a double set of dogs over the yielding inner turf course. The three-year-old filly will make her North American debut in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).

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