Pletcher sends out Double Thunder, Midnight Worker for Saratoga Special

August 12, 2021

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After capturing the Grade 3 Sanford with Wit on the Spa’s opening weekend, newly enshrined Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher is hoping to add to his juvenile stakes prosperity when he sends out Midnight Worker and Double Thunder for Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special presented by Miller Lite. 

Owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, Double Thunder seeks his second graded stakes win in only his third career start. Following a triumphant and forwardly placed debut on June 5 at Monmouth Park, the son of Super Saver won with new tactics, making up nearly 10 lengths to capture the six-furlong Grade 3 Bashford Manor on June 24 at Churchill Downs. 

“It was all about timing. The race fit in well with his schedule and worked nicely,” Pletcher said. “He had a very good set up, they went fast early. He was pretty professional in his second start and finished up strongly. I don’t know that he’ll be quite that far off the pace this time. It will depend on how fast they go, but it’s nice that he won his debut close to the pace and came from out of it the second time. He seems versatile.”

Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Double Thunder is the first offspring out of the graded stakes placed Tapit mare Rattataptap. He was purchased from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton July Sale for $60,000. 

Double Thunder will be piloted by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who teamed up with Pletcher to capture the 2013 Special with Corfu, from post 7.

Repole Stable’s Midnight Worker makes his graded stakes debut following a July 24 maiden special weight win at first asking. 

The son of second crop sire Outwork, who also was trained by Pletcher, was hustled out of the gate under Luis Saez, tracking the pacesetter along the rail in second. The colt was angled a couple of paths wide around the far turn and fended off an inside challenge from Bourbon Heist to win by a head. 

Pletcher likened Midnight Worker to his sire, who broke his maiden in April of his juvenile season. 

“He was a very good 2-year-old himself and very precocious for a big horse,” Pletcher said. “This is a big, leggy colt as well, but he’s been very straightforward and professional. I thought he was game on debut.”

Pletcher said the precocity may come down to bloodlines as Outwork is by 2010 Champion Juvenile Colt and multiple champion producer Uncle Mo. All were trained by Pletcher and owned by Mike Repole. 

“It seems like a good 2-year-old family. Uncle Mo was obviously a brilliant 2-year-old, Outwork was precocious, so it seems to run in the family,” Pletcher said. 

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. picks up the mount from post 5. 

Pletcher said he is in the process of mapping out a next start for recent maiden winner Mystic Eyes, who won on debut on August 5 going 5 ½ furlongs over the Mellon turf for owners MeB Racing Stables and Vincent D. Esopi. 

Pletcher said the $120,000 Bolton Landing – a 5 ½ furlong stake for juvenile fillies over the Mellon turf on august 18 – will likely come up too soon and that the $120,000 P.G. Johnson on September 2 could be in the works. 

“We’re waiting on options,” Pletcher said. “Unfortunately, the 5 ½ race is back a little too quick. We’ll either see if she can stretch out in the P.G. Johnson or look for something at Kentucky Downs.”

Pletcher expressed delight in seeing highly regarded Vindictive find the winner’s circle at second asking on July 28 at Saratoga. Following a distant fifth on debut to subsequently stakes placed Miles D, the sophomore Uncle Mo bay colt was more forwardly placed next out, collaring pacesetter Pipeline in the stretch to win by a head. 

Owned by Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable and LNJ Foxwoods, Vindictive, a half-brother to 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Stopchargingmaria, earned a 97 Beyer for the performance. 

“We’ll look for an allowance race and try and develop him,” Pletcher said. “He trained really well before his debut and was disappointing. What we saw the other day was much more of what we’re expecting.”

NYRA/Saratoga Press Release

Photo: Midnight Worker winning his debut in a MSW at Saratoga on July 24, 2021. (NYRA/Coglianese)

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