Pletcher has Repole Stables' Overanalyze, Starlight Racing's Lawn Man, and Drum Roll for the partnership of Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. All come into the seven-furlong Sapling, which will be run as race nine with an approximate post of 5:01 p.m. EDT, off starts at Saratoga Race Course last time out.
Overanalyze, however, could run in the Sept. 3 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga instead, according to owner Mike Repole. A decision is expected the afternoon of Aug. 31 when post positions for the upstate New York stakes race will be drawn. The Dixie Union colt broke his maiden at first asking in a five-furlong maiden special weight with a 1 1/4-length triumph in :57.48 Aug. 9. He drew post 4 in the Sapling.
Drum Roll, by Majestic Warrior, finished fourth in the Saratoga Special (gr. II) after chasing the pace and tiring. Before that, the bay colt won his debut going five furlongs July 8 by 2 3/4 lengths in :58.29, setting the pace and drawing off after breaking out and getting bumped at the start. He leaves post 7 under Chris DeCarlo.
"In his race here he broke a little slow and then got bumped," DeCarlo said. "Once he got rolling, he took me to the front on his own. He hit his gear and there was no stopping him."
Lawn Man, sent off at 10-1 going six furlongs July 28, showed the way and kicked clear to win by 4 1/2, completing the distance in 1:11.25. Lawn Man drew the far outside; Joe Bravo has the call on the Flatter colt and Overanalyze.
Seven others make up the non-Pletcher contingent, with Mike McCarty's Special Jo the most experienced of the bunch. The Johannesburg runner was sixth in the July 22 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga after finishing third in the Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs June 30. In the six-furlong Bashford Manor, he vied for the lead on the inside and drew clear mid-stretch, but faltered late and succumbed to the closing Circle Unbroken. Trainer Steve Asmussen sent Special Jo to a sparkling six-length maiden win first time out at Churchill May 25; the colt completed five furlongs in :58.53.
Special Jo breaks from post 8 under Elvis Trujillo. In the Sanford, he was never better positioned than fourth, racing three wide on the turn and weakening as the field entered the stretch.
David Melin and Laurie Plesa's Brave Dave shipped up from a frontrunning 1 1/4-length maiden victory going six furlongs at Calder Casino & Race Course in his first try June 30 to run fourth in the Sanford for longtime Monmouth conditioner Eddie Plesa Jr. The son of Put it Back pressed the pace throughout in the Sanford, but ran greenly and lugged out while four wide on the turn. Despite drifting badly in upper stretch, Brave Dave was still vying into the final furlong before he faded.
"It was more of an equipment malfunction than anything; he had a little bit of trouble around the turn," Plesa explained. "Now he's coming out of that race with more knowledge and more experience and we'll move forward off that effort."
Brave Dave has been backing up those words with his works. His training pattern at Monmouth has been especially strong, and when the colt breezed four furlongs in :47 flat handily Aug. 19, it was the fastest move of 81 horses at the distance.
"He is coming up to it as good as any horse can come up to a race," Plesa said. "His last two works have been exceptional and this is a race we've been pointing to all summer long with him. He's got a ton of speed and I'm very anxious for Sunday."
Paco Lopez rides Brave Dave from post 3.
Coach A. J., claimed for $50,000 from WinStar Farm and Pletcher by Patricia Farro for MAT Stables Aug. 22, finally broke through in the third try in that maiden claimer going 5 1/2 furlongs on the Saratoga dirt. The Tale of the Cat colt was runner-up first time out in a June 23 maiden special weight at Monmouth, then third in a five-furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga July 27 for his original connections.
Coach A. J. gets the services of Kendrick Carmouche from post 6.
Dream Walkin Farms' Bobcat Jim was an impressive nine-length maiden winner for trainer Kenny Smith going five furlongs in :57.54 at Delaware Park July 5, but stumbled and lost the rider next time out in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance event there Aug. 8. Calvin Borel comes in to ride.
Red Oak Stable's Keep the Canoli, an Imperialism colt who broke his maiden at Monmouth on the dirt before running fifth on the lawn in the five-furlong Tyro Stakes there Aug. 5 for trainer Gregory Sacco.
Donamire Farm's Tap and Trade, a Tapit colt, broke his maiden by 4 1/4 going six furlongs at Ellis Park July 28 for Greg Foley. Lucci the Lion was an Aug. 6 maiden winner by Lion Heart going 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga for Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables and trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
$100,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 5:01 p.m.), 2YOs, 6 Furlongs
PP., Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Odds
1. Tap and Trade (KY), C.J. Lanerie, G D Foley, 10-1
2. Bobcat Jim (KY), C.H. Borel, K P Smith, 8-1
3. Brave Dave (FL), P. Lopez, E Plesa Jr., 6-1
4. Overanalyze (KY), J. Bravo, T A Pletcher, 5-2
5. Keep the Canoli (FL), A. Serpa, G D Sacco, 15-1
6. Coach A.J. (FL), K. Carmouche, P Farro, 12-1
7. Drum Roll (PA), C.P. DeCarlo, T A Pletcher, 5-1
8. Special Jo (KY), E. Trujillo, S M Asmussen, 6-1
9. Lucci the Lion (NY), P. Fragoso, R R Rodriguez, 15-1