As weekends go, this past one has to rank near the top for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Bookended by two Grade 1 victories here by Forte and Annapolis on Saturday and then easy victories by champion Malathaat in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) here and Nest in the Beldame (G2) at Aqueduct on Sunday – plus a trip Saturday with his wife, Tracy, to see daughter Hannah during parents weekend at Wake Forest University in North Carolina – and one has a weekend to savor.
“It was fantastic,” Pletcher said Monday morning at Keeneland as he looked in on Malathaat before heading back to New York for a few days.
Malathaat, now three-for-three in her career at Keeneland and a five-time Grade 1 winner, and Nest, winner of this spring’s Central Bank Ashland (G1) here, give Pletcher two aces to play in the
$2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) to be run here Nov. 5. Pletcher has won the Distaff twice.
“Nest will be shipping Wednesday and arrive here Thursday,” said Pletcher, who will have seven prime Breeders’ Cup candidates here headed by Classic (G1) hopeful Life Is Good.
With the three Grade 1 victories at Keeneland over the weekend, Pletcher added $1,275,650 to the barn’s bankroll for 2022, a total that now exceeds $24.4 million and is second only to Chad Brown.
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Malathaat Wins Spinster
This is Pletcher’s best year in earnings since 2015, the year Keeneland hosted its first Breeders’ Cup and was site of two of Pletcher’s 12 victories in the World Championships. His winners that weekend were Liam’s Map in the Dirt Mile (G1) and Stopchargingmaria in the Distaff.
“I hope to finish strong,” said Pletcher, who plans to return to Keeneland Thursday and remain here through the Breeders’ Cup.
Andthewinneris Runs To His Training In Bourbon
Susan Moulton’s homebred Andthewinneris was the 10-1, co-sixth choice on the morning line for Sunday’s Castle & Key Bourbon (G2). By post time, he was the 4-1 favorite.
“I didn’t kill the price on him; he did,” trainer Wayne Catalano said Monday morning. “He was training like a monster and that was on the dirt.”
In winning for the second time in three turf starts, Andthewinneris took over at the eighth pole and cruised to a 2¾-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile race. His final time of 1:41.27 knocked more than a second off the stakes record that had stood since 1999.
The victory earned Andthewinneris a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) to be run here Nov. 4.
A day later, Moulton and Catalano will be represented in the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) by Manny Wah, who earned his spot in the starting gate for that race with his victory Friday in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2).