Trainer Todd Pletcher has a pair for the Sept. 30 Pilgrim Stakes (G3T)

Trainer Todd Pletcher has a pair for the Sept. 30 Pilgrim Stakes (G3T)

Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher

Pilgrim Packed With Potential

Evaluator, Pletcher pair jump in class in grade 3 Pilgrim

Juvenile colts get a shot at graded stakes black type when a field of eight competes in the $200,000 Pilgrim Stakes (G3T) going 1 1/16 miles on the turf Sept. 30 at Belmont Park.

Carded as race 8 (4:37 p.m;), the Pilgrim is one of four graded stakes on the day highlighted by the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) along with the Beldame Stakes (G1) and Vosburgh Stakes (G1).

Looking to rebound off a seventh-place finish in the With Anticipation Stakes (G3T) is R and H Stable's Evaluator, for trainer Michael Dilger. A New York-bred son of Overanalyze —currently the leading first-crop sire—Evaluator made his debut against fellow state-breds Aug. 9 at Saratoga Race Course, where he bested nine rivals by four lengths.

Sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the With Anticipation, he was hesitant at the start and shuffled back early. Putting in three works since that race most recently breezing four furlongs in :48.66 over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track, Dilger said he is expecting a better effort in the Pilgrim.

"He's been doing very good," said Dilger. "We were very happy with his most recent workout coming into the race. We hope to see him break better and he although he didn't have the best of starts in the With Anticipation, he made up a lot of ground toward the end of the race, so I thought it was still educational."

Retaining the services of Joel Rosario, who has been aboard for his first two career starts, the pair will leave from post 8.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle two in the Pilgrim, with Treadway Racing Stable's Maraud and Seabhac, for Donegal Racing.

Purchased for $375,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale in May, Maraud won his debut on Sept. 2 at Saratoga by two lengths. After finishing second in his debut by a half-length, Seabhac returned to run fourth in the With Anticipation.

"They've both been training well coming up to this race," said Pletcher. "With Seabhac, the initial plan was to enter in the in the (G3T) Dixiana (Bourbon Stakes) at Keeneland, but that race was oversubscribed so we decided to run here. Maraud enters having won first out at Saratoga and they're both coming into this race off good efforts."

With Luis Saez aboard, Seabhac will depart from post 4. Maraud will leave from post 6 with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano in the irons.

Entering for Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables and trainer Chad Brown is Voting Control. A son of Kitten's Joy , he impressively won his debut Sept 10 at Belmont while earning a field-high 72 Beyer Speed Figure.

Rounding out the rest of the field: Desert Stone for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and Zayat Stables; Morrison for Newport Stables, and Stolen Pistol for owner Brad Grady both trained by Joe Sharp.

Entries: Pilgrim S. (G3T)

Belmont Park, Saturday, September 30, 2017, Race 8

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/16m
  • Inner turf
  • $200,000
  • 2 yo
  • 4:37 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Desert Stone (IRE)Jose L. Ortiz116Rudy R. Rodriguez12/1
22Morrison (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRobby Albarado118Joe Sharp10/1
33Stolen Pistol (NY)Manuel Franco118Joe Sharp15/1
44Seabhac (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez116Todd A. Pletcher5/1
55Voting Control (KY)Javier Castellano118Chad C. Brown9/5
66Maraud (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez118Todd A. Pletcher5/2
77Looking Ready (NY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.118Bruce N. Levine12/1
88Evaluator (NY)Joel Rosario118Michael Dilger8/1