Trainer Todd Pletcher said Aug. 29 that Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Stay Thirsty would most likely head to the Oct. 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park and Foxwood’s King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Uncle Mo ’s options include the Kelso Handicap (gr. II) and Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II).
The Kelso will also be contested Oct. 1 at Belmont Park and the Pennsylvania Derby is Sept. 24 at Parx.
Both Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo are 3-year-old colts owned by Mike Repole.
“I’ve had approximately 12 conversations with Mike (Repole), but nothing is firmed up,” quipped Pletcher. “The most likely scenario for Stay Thirsty is the Jockey Club Gold Cup. I suppose there’s some wiggle room there; the Pennsylvania Derby is a week sooner against straight 3-year-olds.
“The Pennsylvania Derby is an option for Uncle Mo,” he added. “I suppose if we felt like he needed another week, a race like the Kelso could be in the mix. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is 1 1/4 miles and we still have aspirations to making that race with Uncle Mo. Between now and then, if we need to stretch him out and want to go 1 1/4 miles, I don’t know if the Kelso at a mile would be long enough for us to get there. So we’ll have to play it by ear.”
Pletcher is looking to continue his success at Saratoga this week and over Labor Day weekend. He will be represented by Crazy Party in the P.G. Johnson for 2-year-old fillies on the turf Aug. 31 and Captain Webb in the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds on the turf Sept. 1.
On Sept. 3, Pletcher will send out Super Espresso in the rescheduled Personal Ensign (gr. I); Mission Impazible and Rule in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I); and Aikenite and Sidney's Candy in the Forego Stakes (gr. I).
“The Woodward and the Forego are very attractive races, and Sidney’s Candy is a horse who is so good at all these things,” said Pletcher. “But we felt the seven-eighths was a little more comfortable distance than the 1 1/8 miles.
“Aikenite’s last race was good; it was just such a tough race,” he said. “He probably ended up a little closer to the pace than he ideally wanted. He still ran a very credible race.”
Aikenite was fifth behind Jackson Bend in the July 22 James Marvin Stakes at seven furlongs at the Spa.
Pletcher said he hopes to have a least one starter in the Spinaway (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies Sept. 4 with Georgie's Angel. Stopshoppingmaria, an impressive 9 3/4-length maiden winner at the Spa Aug. 14, is possible.
On Labor Day, in addition to Bubbly Jane in the Glens Falls (gr. IIIT), Pletcher is pointing recent maiden winners Big Blue Nation and Hunt Crossing to the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I).