5YO Gelding Nominated to $1M Charles Town Classic (G2)
Jockey Alvelo, Trainers McMahon & Frock Post Friday Doubles
LAUREL, MD – Plot the Dots, runner-up in the July 30 Deputed Testamony at Laurel Park, continues to train forwardly as owner Danny Chen and trainer Claudio Gonzalez explore options for his return race.
The gelded 5-year-old son of champion Uncle Mo breezed a half-mile in 47 seconds over Laurel’s main track Friday, the fastest of 17 horses at the distance. It was the second straight bullet work for Plot the Dots following a five-furlong move in 1:00.60 Aug. 13, best of 24 horses.
“There’s not many spots to run him in Maryland right now, so it’s very hard. I know we’ve been shopping around,” Chen said. “We’ve looked at a few spots at Colonial Downs and we actually looked at the Iselin but we figured maybe that might be a little too tough. We’ll see. He’s doing really well and he’s been training well. I’m not sure exactly what spot he’s pointing for, but I’m sure Claudio has a game plan and a spot down the road for him.”
The $250,000 Philip H. Iselin (G3) for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles drew a field of six for Saturday’s running at Monmouth Park including 6 ¼-length Deputed Testamony winner Ridin With Biden.
Plot the Dots is nominated to the $1 million Charles Town Classic (G2), a 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds and up, Aug. 26 at Charles Town.
“I saw he was nominated to the Charles Town Classic,” Chen said. “I normally leave the decision-making up to Claudio. Once in a while I’ll go ahead, but with that particular horse I let him make the call.”
It was Chen’s call to run Plot the Dots in the June 19 Find for Maryland-bred/sired horses at Laurel, where he finished fifth by 3 ¼ lengths in just his third career try on turf and first since October 2020. He came back and closed to be second as the favorite in the Deputed Testamony, 2 ¾ lengths ahead of Grade 3 winner Magic Michael.
“The decision to run him on the grass a couple races back was mine. I wanted to try him against Maryland-breds even though I didn’t really want to run him on the grass because it’s not his preferred surface,” Chen said. “He came back and ran a big race. I was very proud of him. He’s really come around, that horse. He’s done very well with Claudio.
Gonzalez claimed Plot the Dots for $35,000 from owner-breeder The Elkstone Group out of a sixth-place finish in one-mile optional claiming allowance Feb. 20 at Laurel. He has won two of six subsequent starts, both optional claiming allowance spots at Laurel, and placed in a pair of stakes including third to 40-1 long shot Rough Sea in Laurel’s Native Dancer April 23, just a neck behind runner-up Bird King.
Plot the Dots’ grandsire is Medaglia d’Oro, a multiple Grade 1 winner of more than $5 million in purses that ran second in the 2002 Belmont (G1) and 2002 and 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). His dam, Lady of Gold, earned more than $254,000 from 23 starts with seconds in the 2014 Maple Leaf (G3) and Red Carpet Handicap (G2).
“His pedigree was there. He’s royally bred horse by Uncle Mo,” Chen said. “When you just see his stature in the paddock, he is one big, good-looking horse. Physically, he’s very striking and his pedigree was very appetizing, so that’s the reason we reached in for him.”
According to Equibase statistics, Chen has won 794 races from 4,057 starters as an owner since 2000. His best horse was Yorkiepoo Princess, a Florida-bred mare that he bought as a 2-year-old in training for $8,000 that went on to win seven of 27 starts and $551,177 in purses including five stakes. Second in the 2017 Charles Town Oaks (G3), her final two races came for Gonzalez capped by a victory in the 2019 Pink Ribbon at Charles Town.
“I was with Claudio a few years back. I live in New York so my stable all these years has been in New York [but] last year I sent Claudio a bunch of horses down there and we’ve done very, very well with them,” Chen said. “I’ve just had such great success with Claudio and we have a great rapport. The majority of my horses are with Claudio right now.”
Notes: Jockey Jean Alvelo rode back-to-back winners Friday, Sweet Gracie ($5.60) in Race 8 and Excellorator ($10.80) in Race 9 … Trainer Charles L. ‘Snake’ Frock sent out a pair of winners, Believeinrocknroll ($7.40) in Race 1 and Dialing Dixie ($15.20) in Race 4 … Trainer Hugh McMahon swept the late double with Excellorator in Race 9 and Peace With Honor ($8.20) in Race 10 … Michael J. Ryan’s 5-year-old Irish-bred gelding King’s Honor ($8.20), narrowly beaten as the favorite in his season debut July 4 at Laurel, reeled in pacesetting Passion Play in mid-stretch and edged clear to win Friday’s featured Race 7, a second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up, in 1:35.34 over a firm Kelso turf course … Warwick Stable’s Sweet Gracie, second by a nose to Grade 1-placed Divine Huntress last out in the July 30 Miss Disco at Laurel, rallied down the center of the track to edge No More Mask and R B’s Star in Race 8, a 5 ½ furlong allowance for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 3 and up. The winning time was 1:04.72 over a fast main track … There will be a carryover of $1,402.86 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 for Saturday’s 10-race card that begins at 12:40 p.m. Tickets with five of six winners Friday were each worth $300.60.
Laurel Park Press Release
Photo: Plot The Dots (MJC Photo)