Pletcher’s BSRF Contingent Plans TBD 

June 10, 2024

Mindframe (outside) almost gave Pletcher a Belmont victory. (Joe Labozzetta)

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Notes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – On the morning after the running of the 156th Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher was undecided about the next effort to be asked of his trio of colts MindframeAntiquarian, and Protective, who finished second, fifth, and sixth, respectively, in the race.

“That’s a great question. It will take some time to sort that out,” he said.

Plans under consideration could include the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy presented by Mohegan Sun on July 27 at Saratoga and the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell on July 20 at Monmouth Park, with the long-term goal of the Grade 1, $1.25 million DraftKings Travers on August 24 at the Spa. 

What Pletcher was certain of is that his Belmont runners came out of the race in good shape. 

Mindframe, owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, went into the race undefeated in a pair of lifetime starts which the colt won by a combined 21 1/4 lengths. The son of Constitution led briefly in the stretch then shied out at the eighth pole according to the Equibase chart caller before being passed by the winner, Dornoch. 

“Mindframe came back well and looked well this morning. I’m happy with his performance. It was a lot to ask in his third lifetime start. He ran green in the lane but otherwise he ran super,” Pletcher said. 

Centennial Farms’ Antiquarian, winner of the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Belmont at the Big A in his previous start, weakened in the drive. 

“I thought he ran well. Johnny [Velazquez] said he was in a good spot and just kind of finished evenly down the lane. He couldn’t quite find another burst of energy there,” said the trainer. 

Repole Stable’s Protective got bumped at the start and pinched back and after an eventful trip weakened in the final furlong.  

“Protective ran okay. He kind of flattened out a little bit in the last part. It looked like there were some horses wandering around the track at the eighth pole. He didn’t embarrass himself. We’ll regroup and find a softer spot for him,” Pletcher said. 

Pletcher remained pleased with St. Elias Stable and Repole Stable’s Crupi, winner of the Grade 2 Suburban at 10 furlongs on Saturday’s undercard in a rebound effort from a 10th place finish in the March 30 Group 1 Dubai World Cup.

“That was a big effort from him. He came from off the pace and got hung out pretty wide, but he kept coming and got there in time,” said Pletcher, who mentioned that the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga could be in his future and that the Grade 1 Whitney at 1 1/8 miles during the meet is another possibility. The Jockey Club Gold Cup is a “WAYI” event, offering a guaranteed starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. 

The future also looks bright for others in the stable, whether a stakes winner coming back after a disappointment or among those just starting their careers. 

Munnys Gold. (Walter Wlodarczyk

Munnys Gold, a Florida-bred 4-year-old daughter of Munnings owned by Robert and Lawana Low, made her first start in 10 months an impressive one as she posted a gate-to-wire score in an allowance race at Saratoga on Friday. In her sophomore season she took the Sophomore Fillies Breeders Stakes for state-breds at Tampa Bay Downs by 17 1/4 lengths, and then ran second in the Grade 2 Eight Belles at Keeneland, fourth in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont, and third in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga. 

“We gave her a little break after her last start and freshened her up and she seems to have come back really well so hopefully, we can have a good season with her,” Pletcher said. “She came out of her race in good order. We’ll look for a stake for her next start but I’m not sure which one yet.”

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Candied is another filly on the comeback trail. 

She won her 2-year-old first effort at Saratoga last August and then stepped up all the way into the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades, which she took in October at Keeneland. Next out she ran third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita in November. In her first start as a 3-year-old, she was fourth in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland on April 5. Then on Saturday at Monmouth Park she raced against older fillies and mares in the Lady’s Secret and dispatched the field by 4 1/2 lengths.

Candied #1 with Joe Bravo riding won the $100,000 Lady's Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ on Saturday June 8., 2024. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Candied #1 with Joe Bravo riding won the $100,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park. (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

“She ran a big race. We usually don’t run against olders this time of year but we were looking for the right opportunity to get her going again and that worked out well. The idea was to get a nice run into her before the Coaching Club [American Oaks on July 20 at Saratoga]. We’ve accomplished that so far,” Pletcher said.

A pair of sophomores who ran over the weekend at Saratoga while making their first starts each at seven furlongs also earned praise. Audacious, a daughter of Into Mischief owned by Bass Stables, won her race by 1 ¾ lengths to earn a 74 Beyer Speed Figure and Illuminare, a City of Light colt running in the colors of Centennial Farms, passed his test with a 1 ¾ lengths win to garner a lofty 88 Beyer.

“That was a good debut for Audacious She’d been training well leading into it. I’m happy with it. The same thing for Illuminare. We liked the way he’d been training. Anytime you have debut winners going seven furlongs it’s good. It’s always a challenge and I thought both he and the filly did very well,” Pletcher said.

@jonathanstettin I for one can still actually feel the pall cast over the crowd and game that day. It was palpable. Kudos 2/2

William G. Gotimer (@WilliamGotimer) View testimonials

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