Of Todd Pletcher's 10 horses pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup World Championship, three of them will vie for favoritism in 2-year-old races—Shanghai Bobby in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Dreaming of Julia in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), and Kauai Katie, who will run in either the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint (gr. II) or Juvenile Fillies.
Pletcher also has Tara From the Cape in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT).
His 2-year-old strength brings up the question of the Breeders' Cup's newly instituted ban on Lasix, with which Pletcher's horses have raced in all their starts.
Is Pletcher concerned about racing his 2-year-olds without Lasix for the first time in their careers?
"It is unchartered waters," Pletcher said. "But of the juveniles we entered, I don't anticipate any problems, at least I hope not. The only way to know for sure is to run them, see how they perform, and scope them afterwards. We haven't done anything different. The important thing is to have them healthy. If they are and they haven't bled before, their chances of bleeding will be greatly diminished.
"I'm hoping that because they're younger horses they have had less stressful campaigns and are less likely to bleed," he continued. "One of my concerns about the removal of Lasix in general is it can be a disadvantage to the betting public. As an industry, it is something we have to look closely at. That's why I'm pro-Lasix. It will be a concern not racing them on Lasix for the first time, but hopefully they'll perform up to their standards. Shanghai Bobby in particular is a very healthy horse. We breeze quite a few of the horses on Lasix but I don't anticipate any problem for him. He's never had a problem before."
The other question is the surface at Santa Anita Park, which is unfamiliar to Eastern horses and has been reported to be looser that it has been in past years, with sand added this year.
Pletcher has no concerns about this either, especially after seeing Love and Pride ship there and easily win the Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I).
"So far, it's been terrific," Pletcher said. "It's little bit slower than previous Santa Anita meets, but the track has been very safe and our horses have acclimated very well. When the first one runs as well as Love and Pride did, it makes you feel good about it. The track has been similar to Gulfstream and Palm Meadows, so you can see the same influence with Mr. (Frank) Stronach owning both. I don't think there is any doubt we have more East Coast horses this year because of the dirt. Everyone back here is looking forward to (the Breeders' Cup) being back on dirt."
The only Pletcher horse whose status is uncertain is the undefeated Kauai Katie, who would be a formidable opponent in the Juvenile Sprint or the Juvenile Fillies
"There are a couple of factors why we cross-entered her," Pletcher said. "The main factor is that Stonestreet Farm owns both fillies, so there is some hesitation to run the two fillies against each other. But we also want to give each filly an equal chance. We'll work both of them and then assess the situation. The way Kauai Katie rated last time there is an inclination to stretch her out."
The other Pletcher pre-entered horses are Love and Pride in the Ladies Classic (gr. I), Turbulent Descent in the Filly and Mare Sprint (gr. I), Turbo Compressor in the Turf (gr. IT), In Lingerie in either the Ladies Classic or Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT), Doubles Partner in the Mile (gr. IT), and Bridgetown in the Turf Sprint (gr. IT).