A trio of 3-year-olds will represent the Pletcher barn for Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Discovery Handicap, headed by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Battier, most recently third behind winner Will Take Charge and Moreno in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby on September 21.
“He gave us a thrill for a moment there,” said Pletcher of Battier. “I thought that race was excellent. He’s a horse who is maturing. He’s always trained impressively so we think he has a big race in him.”
Also pointing to the 1 1/8-mile Discovery for Pletcher are a pair of Repole Stable runners: Midnight Taboo, beaten a head by Vegas No Show in the Coastal overnight stakes on October 9 at Belmont, and Micromanage, most recently fourth in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby on October 5.
• Wedding Toast will attempt to emulate her stablemate Dance Card when she makes her graded stakes debut in the Grade 3, $400,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies on the Cigar Mile Handicap undercard on November 30 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“A very nice filly,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin of Wedding Toast, a daughter of Street Sense. “She’s similar to Dance Card: she finished second [in her debut] and now she has won her next three, so, hopefully, she can keep going.”
On opening weekend at Aqueduct, McLaughlin will be represented by Paul Braverman and Namecook Stables’ Cairo Prince in the Grade 2, $250,000 Nashua for 2-year-olds. Darley Stable’s Divided Attention is possible for the Grade 3, $250,000 Tempted for juvenile fillies. Both the Nashua and the Tempted will be contested at one mile on Sunday.
• Arriving at Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s barn Sunday morning from Kentucky for Saturday’s Grade 3 Discovery Handicap is Mr Palmer, last seen in New York finishing fourth behind winner Verrazano in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
Subsequently given time off, the Pulpit colt returned to action on October 5 at Indiana Downs, where he finished seventh over a sloppy, sealed track in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby.
“He ran well in the Wood, but he needed time after that, it took a lot out of him, “ said Mott’s assistant, Leana Willaford. “The Indiana Derby wasn’t ideal; he caught a very mucky racetrack.”
• Trainer Jimmy Jerkens expressed satisfaction with Wicked Strong’s two-length victory in a Saturday maiden special weight, adding that the 2-year-old could make his next start in the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen at 1 1/8 miles on November 30 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“I think we’ll eventually go to Florida, but we might entertain the thought of running in the Remsen,” said Jerkens. “We’ll have to see. We’ll make a decision in the next week or so.”