Chilean star makes U.S. de­but

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Front Page - By David Gren­ing Follow David Gren­ing on Twit­ter @DRFGren­ing

ELMONT, N.Y. – Four­teen years ago, trainer Todd Pletcher took a horse that was a Group 1 win­ner in Chile and de­vel­oped him into a Grade 1 win­ner in North Amer­ica.

Pletcher can only hope he has as much suc­cess with Big Daddy as he had with Host. Big Daddy, a Chilean-bred who won mul­ti­ple Group 1 races in Chile, makes his North Amer­i­can de­but Thursday in a high-class al­lowance race going one mile on dirt at Bel­mont Park.

Un­like Host, who won the Grade 1 Shad­well Turf Mile in 2005, Big Daddy is a dirt horse. In Chile, he won 7 of 9 dirt starts, in­clud­ing the 2000 Guineas at Hipó­dromo Chile, a race which, coin­ci­den­tally, Host also won.

“I’ve seen some of his races, very im­pres­sive,” Pletcher said of Big Daddy. “The way he’s trained here he seems like a high-qual­ity horse.”

Pletcher said Big Daddy came to him in April at Palm Beach Downs. He be­gan work­ing in July at Saratoga and shows 11 breezes lead­ing into this spot. His fi­nal work was a best-of-43 half-mile breeze in 48.68 sec­onds over the Bel­mont train­ing track on Oct. 6.

“He’s been a plea­sure to be around,” Pletcher said. “So far, very pro­fes­sional, trained very well, and has done ev­ery­thing right.”

Pletcher also has Vul­can’s Forge en­tered in this spot. Pletcher had en­tered Vul­can’s Forge as a main track-only en­trant in Mon­day’s Grade 2 Knicker­bocker Stakes, hop­ing that race would come off the turf, but de­spite heavy rain Mon­day, it was run on the grass.

Eco­nomic Model, Tou­chof­s­tar­qual­ity, and Back­side­ofthe­moon are other con­tenders in this spot.

Ocean Knight will scratch from Thursday’s al­lowance to run in a turf al­lowance on Fri­day.

KEY CON­TENDERS

Big Daddy, by Grand Daddy

◗ Ap­pears to be train­ing with a pur­pose for U.S. de­but, which will come with Lasix for the first time.

◗ On Sept. 23, he fired a bul­let work in com­pany with Bib­li­cal, who came out of that work to fin­ish third in a 2-year-old maiden race.

Eco­nomic Model, by Flat­ter Last 3 Bey­ers: 89-96-97

◗ Win­less in seven starts since tak­ing the Easy Goer Stakes here in June of 2016.

◗ Comes off a sixth-place fin­ish as the fa­vorite in a sim­i­lar spot at Saratoga, but now gets back to Bel­mont, where he has done his best work.

Back­side­ofthe­moon, by Mal­ibu Moon Last 3 Bey­ers: 92-89-89

◗ Had the lead in mid­stretch, but dropped a neck de­ci­sion to Se­cu­ri­tiz in the Seat­tle Slew Stakes here on Sept. 9.

◗ Blew out a half-mile in 50.22 sec­onds Mon­day morn­ing over a muddy Bel­mont main track.

Vul­can’s Forge, by Gi­ant’s Cause­way Last 3 Bey­ers: 93-86-76

◗ His two best races have come at Bel­mont Park, in­clud­ing a three-length win in a third-level al­lowance race going a mile here on Sept. 15.

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