Todd Pletcher's powerful barn will be in early evidence during the Saratoga season when he saddles a pair of favorites, Chapel Royal and Heckle, in Thursday's $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds.
Is it possible Saratoga will provide an early sneak preview of next year's classic scene, or are the heavy-duty arsenals of Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas merely today's weapons?
Dogwood Stable's Heckle broke alertly with jockey John Velazquez and sped home unchallenged in the stretch to post an easy victory in Saturday's $110,200 Tremont Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park.
Baker, Cornstein and Mack's Proud Citizen, a disappointing eighth in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), turned in a sparkling five-furlong breeze Sunday in his first major training move since that race.
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