Pletcher's New Coin of the Realm

Todd Pletcher sent out one of his equine triumvirate Monday morning as expected when Coin Silver breezed five furlongs in 1:01 flat. With morning conditions in Louisville cool, dry, and clear, the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner's effort was a relief for last year's Eclipse Award-winning trainer.

"I'm very pleased with the work, it's exactly what I was looking for," the trainer said of the John Fort and Peachtree Stable-owned colt who was ridden by retired Hall of Famer Angel Cordero Jr. "He handled the track really well and he galloped out strong. He's definitely fit."

Coin Silver will be one of three Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starters for Pletcher, along with Bandini and Flower Alley. Pletcher sent the colt out this morning in the company of Illinois Derby (gr. II) runner Monarch Lane.

"He went very well," said Pletcher. "When he pulled away from Monarch Lane he got a little idle for a bit, but then picked it up again at the end."

Bred in Kentucky by Biggs Farm, the strapping, dark bay son of the late Anees heads into the Derby off a brief rest after taking the April 23 Keeneland contest by 3 1/2 lengths.

"I usually get a little worried when a horse runs back in two weeks, but I like what he's done since, he's trained well and he's eaten everything up," said Pletcher. "He's coming back in a short time, so we won't do too much with him. The rest of his week will be routine--jogging, galloping, gate and paddock schooling--the usual."

Pletcher, forced to contend with an often fractious Bandini, said Coin Silver has the exact opposite personality. "He's a very laid-back horse, and easy to train. He's actually a little lazy. He's been holding his weight up well, maybe a little too well--so I had to lean on him a little bit."

Pletcher, who currently has 149 horses in his care for 30 different owners, said the bloodlines of Coin Silver don't keep him up at night worrying about getting the Derby's 1 1/4-mile distance.

"He's by Anees, who was by Unbridled, and out of a Conquistador Cielo mare, so I'm confident at least about that."

Pletcher said he will personally saddle all three animals, but that when the bell rings don't expect to find him sitting with any of the owners.

"I don't like sitting that close on any race day, let alone the Kentucky Derby," laughed Pletcher, who said despite all the horses and hoopla he still as "some semblance of a life" with his wife and three small children. "But it's very satisfying for me to have these horses here. These owners get into the business because they want to participate in these type of races."