Trainer Todd Pletcher has decision to make for Preakness: Happy Saver or Dr Post

September 20, 2020

ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday that he is still unsure if he will enter Happy Saver or Dr Post in the Grade 1, $1 million Preakness October 3 at Pimlico Race Course.

Owned by Wertheimer and Frere, Happy Saver, a chestnut son of Super Saver, is unbeaten in three lifetime starts, including a winning stakes debut  in the Federico Tesio on September 7 at Laurel Park.

The Kentucky homebred worked a half-mile in 49.03 seconds over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga on Friday morning.

“I like the way he worked. He’s doing well,” Pletcher said. “I haven’t decided yet. We’ll just continue to survey what shakes out here.”

St Elias Stable’s Dr Post, a last out fourth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on September 5 as the favorite, worked an easy half-mile in 50.06 seconds over the Oklahoma training track on Saturday morning. The son of Quality Road was a respective second and third in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 20 and the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 18 at Monmouth Park.

“We’re weighing out all of our options. We’ll try to sort it all out this week,” Pletcher said.

Pletcher also indicated that the Grade 1, $250,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 10 against older horses going 1 1/4 miles would be a possible option for either horse should they skip the Preakness.

On Saturday, Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable and Stonestreet Stables’ Likeable powered home to an 8 ¼-length maiden victory. The 2-year-old son of freshman sire Frosted extended his advantage at every point of call going the one-turn mile and registered an 81 Beyer for the win.

“We always liked him,” Pletcher said. “He had a solid debut but took a big step forward [Saturday]. He handled the stretch out well and galloped out strongly. We were very happy with it.”

Todd Pletcher was non-committal to a next start, but said that a stakes race would likely be in order.

“We’ll let the dust settle a little bit,” Pletcher said. “He’ll probably move up into a stake of some sort. The [Grade 1, $250,000] Champagne [on October 10] is here, and he’s now won here at the distance. It’s also back in three weeks so we’ll have to play it by ear.”

Bred in Kentucky by co-owner Stonestreet Stables, Likeable was purchased for $350,000 from last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Elm Tree Farm, and is out of the stakes-winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Dashing Debby, who also produced stakes winner and multiple graded stakes-placed Dawn the Destroyer.

Press Release

Photo: Happy Saver (top). Credit: NYRA. Dr Post (bottom). Credit: Susie Raisher/NYRA

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