Unlimited Budget May Take on Boys in Belmont

Unlimited Budget May Take on Boys in Belmont
Photo: Mathea Kelley
Unlimited Budget
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After bypassing the Preakness, trainer Todd Pletcher has a deep group of possible contenders for the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), including Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) third-place finisher Unlimited Budget.

Unlimited Budget would be attempting to emulate Rags to Riches, who in 2007 became the first filly since 1905 to win the Belmont. Rags to Riches is Pletcher's only Belmont Stakes winner to date.

Pletcher's other Belmont hopefuls are Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders Overanalyze  , Palace Malice, and Revolutionary  , plus allowance winner Micromanage.

"We have a few candidates, but we haven't firmed up the lineup just yet," said Pletcher in a release. "Overanalyze breezed this morning (four furlongs in 47.50 seconds over the training track) and breezed well. We are planning to run him. We breezed Palace Malice (four furlongs in :47.49, training track) and talked to Cot Campbell (of Dogwood Stable). We plan to run him."

Added Campbell: "Our horse worked a very snappy half, indicating good energy and enthusiasm. The blinkers that jazzed him up in the Derby come off and we anticipate no problem with pace or distance. He has always rated kindly in previous races, and he will be in good hands with Mike Smith.

"We are keen to give him another chance, his trainer Todd Pletcher included. Who knows which horses will relish a mile and a half; but his pedigree and his dispositionsans blinkerswould give Palace Malice as good a shot as any of them."

Pletcher said Revolutionary will have two breezes starting next Sunday, May 26.

"(Owner) Mike Repole is going to be the key to how many other horses we run," Pletcher said. "He has several possibilities (in addition to Overanalyze). Unlimited Budget breezed this morning (four furlongs in :49.07, training track), and she is possible. Micromanage is here and will breeze next Sunday, and we'll make a decision after that."

WinStar Farm's Revolutionary, winner of the Withers (gr. III) in February at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in March at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, was Pletcher's highest finisher in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, reporting home third while beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Orb.

Overanalyze, victorious in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) in April at Oaklawn Park, was 11th in the Derby, with Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) runner-up Palace Malice tiring to 12th after setting a fast pace.

Before the Belmont Stakes, Pletcher will have the chance to take down a few graded stakes on the May 27 Memorial Day program at Belmont Park. The day's featured race is the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), and Pletcher is expected to run Cross Traffic   and Discreet Dancer in the one-mile event for 3-year-olds and up.

Cross Traffic will enter the Met Mile off a hard-fought second to Flat Out   in the April 27 Westchester (gr. III) at Belmont, while Discreet Dancer is exiting a third in the April 6 Carter Handicap (gr. I) April 6 at Aqueduct.

"It's pretty rare that you see a horse who has come that far in such a short time," said Pletcher of GoldMark Farm's Cross Traffic. "He was an unraced 4-year-old at the start of the year. He ran a huge race in the Westchester. He just lost to a tough, seasoned veteran who seems to love Belmont. We were very pleased with his race, and he's doing just as well or even better than he came into (the Westchester)."
 
"The Carter came up a very fast race," said Pletcher of Discreet Dancer, an E. Paul Robsham Stables homebred. "He won the mile race at Gulfstream, and we think the mile suits him well. He's coming up to it in good order, so we're excited about his chances as well."

Pletcher added that he plans to run Kauai Katie in the Acorn (gr. I) on the Met Mile undercard. In the Ogden Phipps (gr. I) for fillies and mares, Pletcher will run Disposablepleasure, with Authenticity listed as possible.

"I'm keeping an eye on the Phipps with Authenticity, if it comes up a short field," said Pletcher. "I'm just seeing how quickly she bounces back (off her win in the May 3 La Troienne, gr. II at Churchill Downs), but she's doing well. I'd say she's about 50-50 at this moment."

Pletcher said all of his contenders for Memorial Day stakes will breeze May 22, pending weather.

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