“Havana showed us what we were hoping to see,” said Pletcher of the Dunkirk colt. “It was a challenge for sure going from a 5 ½-furlong maiden to a Grade 1 going a mile. We’re very satisfied with his performance.”
Pletcher said that Intense Holiday, fifth in the Foxwoods Champagne, Jack Milton and Notacatbutallama, third and fourth, respectively, in the Grade 1 Jamaica, and Stopchargingmaria, who finished third in the Grade 1 Frizette, also returned in fine fettle.
• Trainer Mike Hushion on Sunday confirmed that Artemis Agrotera is bound for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 2 at Santa Anita after winning Saturday’s Grade 1 Frizette by 1 ¼ lengths over Sweet Reason, who veered in sharply at the start.
“We’re going [to the Breeders’ Cup] until she tells us ‘No,’” said Hushion. “It’s as simple as that. She was a little strong in the paddock yesterday, so we’ll get out there and do some schooling.”
• Foxwoods Champagne runner-up Honor Code could see action again this year, but most likely it will be at Aqueduct Racetrack, not Santa Anita Park, Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said Sunday morning.
“I’ll watch him and see,” he said of the 2-year-old A. P. Indy colt, who is owned by Lane’s End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm. “I’m not real inclined to go to the Breeders’ Cup with him.”
McGaughey hopes to be represented in next month’s Breeders’ Cup with multiple Grade 1 winner Point of Entry, who breezed five furlongs in 1:02.88 over Belmont’s main track on Saturday, his fourth work since returning to training on September 14.
“I’m hoping [Hall of Fame jockey] Johnny Velazquez will be back from Keeneland next Sunday to work him on the turf, and go from there,” said McGaughey.
• Grade 1 winner Sweet Reason, who overcame an awkward start to finish a closing second as the favorite in Saturday’s Grade 1 Frizette, emerged from her effort in good shape, trainer Leah Gyarmati said Sunday.
“She came out great. She cleaned her tub and didn’t leave an oat,” said Gyarmati. “She went out in the round pen and was staring at the track, wondering why she’s not training today. She looks good.”
The one-mile Frizette was the first loss in three starts for Sweet Reason, a juvenile daughter of Street Sense who won twice at Saratoga Race Course this summer.
Both of those races came over sloppy, sealed tracks, making the Frizette her first start on a dry, fast track. Under jockey Alex Solis, Sweet Reason ducked to her left coming out of post position 1, costing her several lengths.
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park on November 2 remains the target for Sweet Reason, who Gyarmati trains for owner Treadway Racing Stable.
Gyarmati has no definite plans for impressive debut winner Noble Moon, who went gate-to-wire in his unveiling for a three-quarter length victory on September 14 at Belmont Park at odds of 25-1.