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PUNCHING THE CLOCK

Posted by on 4/15/2014 9:25:09 PM

Most racing fans and I would suspect most online sports betting site players are normal people and have to punch a clock or show up and work daily and that is just what the Todd Pletcher contingent did on Sunday at Palm Meadows.

Pletcher added a 4th possible Derby starter Saturday when Danza put his rivals in place taking the Arkansas Derby.

In Florida Sunday, Pletcher sent out unbeaten Florida Derby hero Constitution, We Miss Artie and Intense Holiday to work.

Constitution put in a leisurely breeze of :50.60 and that was just to keep him on his toes. He was relaxed and moving super according to his trainer.

Intense Holiday and We Miss Artie worked in tandem. They each drilled a half-mile in :48.90.

Pletcher, who recently wrapped up his 11th straight training title at Gulfstream Park, was pleased with the work in company, Pletcher: “I thought both horses worked well, they galloped out strongly, and they looked good. All 3 of those horses will breeze back next Sunday and then go to Churchill on the 22nd to have their final breeze. We had an excellent winter. The Gulfstream meet was good to us and we were able to ship out to the Risen Star, Spiral and Arkansas Derby.”

The fact that Pletcher has things maps up for his promising horses goes to support his successful style. At this time of the year, you don’t want to hear anything from trainers about ‘we may do this or we may do that’. You have to plan to succeed.

Constitution made his own luck in the Florida Derby thanks to some help from his rider Javier Castellano. He sat a nice trip, about 3 lengths off the lead early which was set by Wildcat Red.

Constitution hooked up with that rival at the top of the lane and it was tooth and nail from that point forward. The eventual winner was rank early on, and Castellano made a great move getting inside of Wildcat Red entering the stretch.

The splits were legit. The half went in :48.19 and the three quarters was run in 1:12 flat. Constitution’s final winning time of 1:49.16 stands up very well.

Last year Orb won this race before winning the Kentucky Derby and he was clocked in 1:50.87 in the Florida Derby.

Orb earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in the Gulfstream race while Constitution posted a 99 figure.

Intense Holiday is coming off a win in the Risen Star and he has had some problems. He could have been compromised in the Holy Bull when breaking from the marooned post 11 but despite that horrible post he ran okay. He has been a work in progress but is in good form and is a legit runner.

We Miss Artie had his coming out party in the Spiral. He really bred for grass being by Artie Schiller. That sire was a turf superstar winning several Graded stakes including the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He never won at a mile and a quarter but was only beaten a half-length at that distance on grass in the Grade 1 Manhattan.

We Miss Artie’s dam Athena’s Gift was also turf only but she did win at 9 furlongs.

Interestingly, Animal Kingdom ran a bit slower in 2011 in the Spiral when clocked in 1:52.32, yet he went on to victory in the Kentucky Derby.

As the days approach for the Kentucky Derby, try to keep an open mind. The whole concept of the race can change when they draw the race and a horse gets a poor post.


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