We’re all well aware by now that Stay Thirsty has lived in the shadow of his more illustrious stablemate, Uncle Mo , since the pair were mere babies breaking on to the racing scene. A good portion of Stay Thirsty’s career has been racing where he shouldn’t and not racing where he should. The reason is simple:
Stay Thirsty finally emerged as the golden child when
When Mo returned and set the sport ablaze again, winning the one-mile Kelso Handicap (gr. II) in a blistering 1:33 4/5, earning a monster 118 Beyer speed figure, it brought him back to the head of the class, combined with Stay Thirsty’s third-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) the same day.
Now, here they are at Churchill Downs preparing to team up for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). But there was one little snag. While Stay Thirsty was thriving at Churchill,
So, instead of people raving about Stay Thirsty’s work, subsequent gallops, and overall physical conditioning, all everyone was talking about was
But Pletcher assured all was fine with the son of Indian Charlie.
“He’s in excellent shape,” Pletcher said. “He really seems happy here. He’ll gallop tomorrow morning. We’re coming at this race a little differently than you’d normally come at the Classic. But given the cards we were dealt in the spring, we had to come up with a game plan to get here and the King’s Bishop was a good starting point. The Kelso was kind of the best prep for us, not wanting to run in the Jockey Club (Gold Cup) with only one race under his belt. Hopefully we’ll build off that.”
As for Stay Thirsty, Pletcher was beaming with confidence at his chances in the Classic: “He’s doing well; hopefully he’ll give a good account of himself on Saturday.”
OK, there was a touch of sarcasm leading up to that quote, but superlatives regarding Stay Thirsty are about as rare as 18 inches of snow in northern
The truth is, Stay Thirsty has been doing great at Churchill Downs. His final work in company was strong, he seems to love the surface, his gallops have been strong, and he looks fantastic physically, from his resplendent coat to his well-defined muscle tone.
Does he have the raw talent of
In regard to
That would make for such a remarkable comeback considering the severity of his illness even Stay Thirsty would stand up and cheer.
In other Classic news, it has been learned that Ballydoyle’s So You Think will wear blinkers to help avoid as much kickback as possible. So You Think did wear blinkers in
Rattlesnake Bridge and Game On Dude had their first gallops over the Churchill track and both looked very strong. Rattlesnake Bridge, who will take far back and make one run, was another on his toes and seems to be doing extremely well physically. The big, powerful gray makes a splendid overall appearance. He still hasn’t quite figured out this game, but when he does he’s going to be a major force. If it doesn’t come this year, watch out next year.
Game On Dude was carrying good flesh after a long year, in which he was involved in several gut-wrenching stretch battles, and we loved the way he got over the ground. His coat seems to be blossoming and we were taken by his beautiful head and kind eye.