Fleet Indian, with Jose Santos up, captures the Next Move Stakes at Aqueduct.

Fleet Indian, with Jose Santos up, captures the Next Move Stakes at Aqueduct.

Coglianese Photos

Pletcher's Fleet Indian Captures Next Move

(from Aqueduct report)
Trainer Todd Pletcher couldn't go with his course specialist in Sunday's $101,200 Next Move Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares, so a newcomer to his deep stable, Fleet Indian, registered a one-length win on the Aqueduct inner dirt.

In her first start for Pletcher, Paul H. Saylor's Fleet Indian broke last but gained a stalking position to defeat the pacesetting No Sleep and two others in the 1 1/8-mile event. Flaming Heart finished second, six lengths in front of the the 7-5 favorite No Sleep in third.

Pletcher had planned to start Bohemian Lady, who recorded dominating wins on the inner Aqueduct track in the Affectionately and Rare Treat handicaps during the season.

"We were originally going to run Bohemian Lady, but she got a little sick and we thought this would be a good spot for Fleet Indian."

Under jockey Jose Santos, Fleet Indian allowed No Sleep and jockey Ramon Dominguez to get the rail position. It wasn't long, however, before Fleet Indian moved to the leader, stalking from the outer flank as they entered the clubhouse turn.

Fleet Indian held her position through an opening quarter mile of :23 2/5 and a half of :47 4/5, but on the turn, Santos let her take the lead. Flaming Heart, ridden by Javier Castellano, also came running with a wide move as they entered the stretch, but Fleet Indian kicked on under Santos' right-handed stick and won in 1:49.32.

It was the eighth win in 13 lifetime starts for the 5-year-old Indian Charlie mare. She was purchased at auction last November. The New York bred won the Montauk Handicap in November. In her last start Dec. 30, she beat an allowance field at Philadelphia Park.

"She's a filly that we've run against quite a bit in the past. Jimmy Toner did a really good job with her," Pletcher said. "Paul Saylor bought her with the intention of breeding her to Purge. He told me that, as long as she was healthy and doing well, to go ahead and run her. We were just kind of waiting on the right spot."

Pletcher also entered Tomorrows Lady here, but scratched her.

"I thought we would be the early speed," Pletcher said. "When she hopped at the start, it concerned me a little bit. She recovered quick enough to put herself in good position. We'll play things by ear. She hadn't run in a while, so having this race under her belt should help her."

Fleet Indian paid $10 and $4.20 and topped a generous $2 exacta with Flaming Heart ($3.10) that paid $25.40 in the short field. India Halo trailed.

The Next Move is the final graded stakes on Aqueduct's inner dirt track for the 2005-06 season. Racing returns to the main track on Wednesday.

(Chart, Equibase)