DRF: Current tops Pletcher’s Breeders’ Cup hopefuls

DRF: Current tops Pletcher’s Breeders’ Cup hopefuls

By David Grening

ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Todd Pletcher pre-entered eight horses in the Breeders’ Cup, with Current among those with the best chances of winning a race.

Current worked a solid five furlongs in 1:01.01 over the Belmont Park main track Thursday in preparation for his start in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 2. Jockey John Velazquez was aboard for the move in which he went his first three furlongs in 36.84 seconds and his final quarter in 24.17. Current galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.90, and seven furlongs in 1:26.85.

“I thought he worked very well,” Pletcher said. “He did it within himself. He had a little bit of a tailwind that carried him along, but I like the way he did it.”

Current, a son of Curlin, is 2 for 3, including a nose victory in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in which he rallied from 10th position and was very wide in the stretch. He won his maiden at Belmont stalking a slow pace.

“I think he’s getting a little more professional all the time,” Pletcher said. “Tactics will come down to the post-position draw. I think he’s handy enough to use him a little bit to get a spot if you need to. Ideally, we’d like him to settle and make a run.”

Though Jose Ortiz rode Current in the Bourbon, Velazquez, aboard for Current’s first two races, will be back aboard in the Breeders’ Cup.

Pletcher also pre-entered Opry, Bulletin, and Empire of War in the Juvenile Turf. Bulletin also is pre-entered in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, which is the race in which he will run. On Thursday, Bulletin worked a half-mile in 48.61 at Palm Beach Downs. Empire of War is seven deep on the preference list for the Juvenile Turf and was entered to run in Saturday’s Awad Stakes at Belmont.

Opry, Pletcher’s other Juvenile Turf entrant, was expected to work Friday at Belmont along with Smart Choice (Filly and Mare Turf). Hi Happy (Turf) and Blind Ambition (Turf Sprint, three deep on preference list) also are expected to work Friday. Pakhet (Juvenile Fillies Turf) was expected to work Friday at Keeneland.

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