Practical Joke, the 3-5 favorite in a five-horse cast, got off the rail and got the lead late to win Belmont Park's Dwyer Stakes (G3) July 8. The son of Into Mischief got the one-turn mile in 1:35.16.
- Gray or Roan Colt
- Born 2014
Set to make his first start since finishing fifth in the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Practical Joke will lead a field of five in the $400,000 Dwyer Stakes (G3) July 8 at Belmont Park.
Rebel Stakes (G2) winner Malagacy and Wood Memorial Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G2) runner-up Battalion Runner will both bypass the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed via text message April 29.
Multiple Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher thought Always Dreaming and Tapwrit were most impressive, Patch was better than usual, and Battalion Runner struggled with the track.
The details in the Dozen make the difference as the Derby draws near.
Always Dreaming, an impressive winner of the April 1 Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, breezed five furlongs April 21 at Palm Beach Downs in 1:01.40, a move that pleased trainer Todd Pletcher.
Pletcher currently has five horses ranked in the top 20 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard used to determine the field: Always Dreaming (7), Tapwrit (12), Malagacy (13), Patch (18), and Battalion Runner (19).
Irish War Cry put doubts to rest April 8 in the $750,000 Wood Memorial Presented by NYRA Bets (G2), clearing Battalion Runner by open lengths to rebound from his lackluster performance last out.
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
Horse players will need three sets of eyes to keep track of this week's action, as Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park all run 170-point qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Trainer Graham Motion views the April 8 Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack as Irish War Cry's opportunity to convince him his presence in the first leg of the Triple Crown is necessary.
In preparation for their next start in the Wood Memorial (G2) April 8, Todd Pletcher trainees Battalion Runner and Bonus Points both worked April 2.
Peacock Racing Stables' multiple graded stakes winner Gunnevera put in his final breeze March 25 for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park, leading a coast-to-coast slate of sophomore works.
St. Elias Stable's Battalion Runner, a promising 3-year-old who has yet to be tested in stakes company, continued his march to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) by working six furlongs March 11 at Palm Beach Downs.
|Trainer||Todd A. Pletcher|
|Jockey||John R. Velazquez|
|Owner||Teresa Viola Racing Stables and St. Elias Stable|
|Breeder||Dell Ridge Farm, LLC|
|Battalion Runner View Five-Cross Pedigree||Unbridled's Song||Unbridled|
|Sale / Hip||Type||Buyer||Consignor||Price|
|Yearling||Crupi's New Castle||St George Sales, agent||$700,000|