Pletcher Sending Ocean Drive to Matriarch

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who leads the nation with earnings of about $16.5 million this year, plans to ship three horses to Hollywood Park for the Turf Festival Nov. 26-28.

Pletcher said Friday from his base in New York that a Tuesday flight will include Ocean Drive for the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) on Nov. 28, Dubleo for the $100,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Nov. 27 and Paddy's Daisy for the $100,000 Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Nov. 26.

Ocean Drive, a multiple graded stakes winner, seeks her first grade I victory in the one-mile Matrairch for fillies and mares on turf. The 4-year-old filly has won nine of 20 starts and earned $803,986 for owners Bonnie and Sy Baskin.

The well-traveled Ocean Drive has won four grade III grass stakes this year: the Gallorette at Pimlico, the Eatontown at Monmouth, the Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup at Saratoga and the Noble Damsel at Belmont.

Regular rider John Velazquez, the national earnings leader with about $21.5 million, has the Matriarch call.

Ocean Drive's one previous outing at Hollywood Park was a disappointing fourth-place finish as the 3-to-5 favorite in the Miesque Stakes two years ago.

"She didn't fire that day," recalled Pletcher. "But she's been very consistent throughout her career over a lot of different courses. We're willing to try again."

Dubleo figures to earn ample support in the Generous for 2-year-olds at one mile on turf. The Southern Halo colt has won five of eight starts and earned $300,899.

The front-running Dubleo has won three of four on turf, including victories in the Summer Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine and the Continental Mile at Monmouth. Most recently he finished second in the Bourbon County Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 29, a neck behind Rey de Café.

Paddy's Daisy seeks her third straight stakes victory in the Miesque for 2-year-old fillies at one mile. The Stonehaven Farm homebred comes off triumphs in the Jessamine County Stakes at Keeneland and the Salem County Stakes at the Meadowlands.

Corey Nakatani, who leads jockeys with 10 Turf Festival victories, will ride both 2-year-olds.

Pletcher said he would also ship Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner Proud Accolade, who is being pointed to the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) on Dec. 18.

"I will probably breeze him on the 29th and leave him there," said Pletcher of the Padua Stables colt, who suffered his first defeat in four starts with a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.

"He didn't fire in the Breeders' Cup and still only got beat by about four lengths," said Pletcher. "He's been training very well since then. I'm going to add blinkers for the Hollywood Futurity."

Pletcher hoped a Futurity victory might earn an Eclipse Award as 2-year-old champion for Proud Accolade in a race that is expected to include Breeders' Cup winner Wilko. "Victories in the Champagne and Futurity would put him in the mix," said Pletcher.

Velazquez retains the Futurity call.