Havana Likely to Start 2014 Season in Swale
Photo: Chad Harmon

Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Havana is likely to make his 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park March 1, trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Havana is also under consideration for the $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 22. However, Pletcher said Jan. 29 that he's leaning toward the Swale, which is run at seven furlongs rather than the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth.

"I think I'm going to be in the Swale with him," Pletcher said. "I just missed too much time and got behind schedule a touch. I'm hoping to make the work tab with him probably later this week and then point for the Swale."

Havana, a son of Dunkirk   who races for Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, captured the one-mile Champagne (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 5 around one turn in his second career start. In his next start Nov. 2, Havana had a two-length lead in the homestretch of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park but settled for second as the 5-2 favorite. He finished 1 1/4 lengths behind New Year's Day  .

Pletcher said Havana, who is yet to have a published workout since returning to training, is still a candidate for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

"If he were to run well in the Swale and then come back, I think that gives him time for two preps," he said. "Only one of them will be around two turns, that's all."

Meanwhile, Pletcher said Commissioner, who pushed his win streak to two races in an allowance/optional claiming race at Gulfstream Jan. 3, will make his stakes debut in the Fountain of Youth. He said Intense Holiday is also a consideration for the race off his third-place effort in the Miller Lite Holy Bull (gr. II) Jan. 25.
 

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