Mojovation’s better breeze gets him entry in Futurity
ELMONT, N.Y. – Mojovation took himself out of consideration for a start in last weekend’s Grade 1 Champagne Stakes when, in the estimation of his trainer Todd Pletcher, he didn’t work up to par.
Mojovation put himself in the entry box for a start in next Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Futurity at Belmont Park with a better breeze over Belmont Park’s training track.
Mojovation was one of six 2-year-olds entered Monday in the Futurity, a six-furlong race that shares billing on Saturday’s 10-race card with the $200,000 Pebbles Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf.
An impressive debut winner at Saratoga on July 29, Mojovation finished seventh, beaten 19 1/4 lengths, in the Grade 1 Hopeful.
“He didn’t break well, didn’t react well to the kickback,” Pletcher said.
On Sept. 29, Pletcher worked Mojovation in blinkers, but wasn’t particularly pleased with the move. Last Saturday, Mojovation worked a half-mile in 48.90 seconds in company with Adorable Miss. Mojovation galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.32 and pulled up six furlongs in 1:16.26.
Pletcher said the work “was more of what we were hoping to see than we did in his previous breeze.”
Mojovation drew post 4 and will be ridden by John Velazquez in the Futurity.
Among those entered was the filly Happy Like a Fool, who ran second in the Grade 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. Trainer Wesley Ward said he would enter Happy Like a Fool back in Sunday’s Grade 2 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and is likely to run her there instead.
Also entered in the Futurity were Red Peril, Barry Lee, Smooth B, and Engage.
Pletcher pair have stakes in future
Trainer Todd Pletcher may not have won any of the graded stakes run at Belmont last weekend, but he sent out two impressive winners who most certainly have a stakes victory with their names on it somewhere.
Copper Town, a 3-year-old son of Speightstown, won a first-level allowance race by 6 1/4 lengths. He ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.08 and earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. It was his second straight win since returning from 6 1/2-month layoff after he finished second in his debut.
Pletcher said Copper Town would be considered for the Grade 3, $200,000 Discovery for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles around two turns at Aqueduct on Nov. 25, or the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile for 3-yearolds and up on Dec. 2, a week later than typically run.
“We’ll play it by ear, see how things unfold as we get closer to that time,” Pletcher said. “I don’t know how the Cigar Mile is going to be affected by the change in dates. The Discovery’s the week before, so that could be a possibility.”
Pletcher said Copper Town had trained so well prior to his Feb. 25 debut at Gulfstream that he was surprised the horse got beat that day. Copper Town needed time off after that race – he had bone bruising, according to Elliott Walden, president of WinStar Farm, which is part-owner of Copper Town – before returning to the races last month at Belmont.
Later on Saturday’s card, Pletcher unveiled the goodlooking juvenile prospect Montauk, a son of Medaglia d’ Oro who rolled to an 11 1/4length victory, going seven furlongs in 1:22.97 and earning an 87 Beyer.
“It was what we were hoping we’d see,” Pletcher said. “It was kind of what he had been showing us in the mornings. He seems like a talented horse, bred to run long with natural speed. We were hoping he’d perform that way and thankfully he did.”
Pletcher didn’t rule out running Montauk in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but said the colt “would be taking the worst of it” to ship cross-country and face the likes of Bolt d’Oro, who is 2 for 2 over the Del Mar track and 3 for 3 overall.
The Grade 2, $200,000 Nashua at Aqueduct on Nov. 5 or the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen at Aqueduct on Dec. 2 may be better options.
Rubilinda going longer
Rubilinda, who has shown an electrifying closing kick sprinting, will stretch out to a mile when she heads a field of nine entered Monday for Saturday’s $200,000 Pebbles Stakes, scheduled for Belmont’s Widener turf course.
The first progeny of Frankel to win in North America, Rubilinda has won two of her first three starts, both at six furlongs. She finished second in a seven-furlong allowance here in July.
Rubilinda, trained by Chad Brown for Don Alberto Stable, drew post 2 and will be ridden by Jose Ortiz. Brown also entered Thais in the Pebbles.
Others entered include Party Boat, third in the Grade 2 Lake George, Adorable Miss, Bellavais, Dynatail, Lido, Scheme, and Sylphide.