July 21, 2024

Forte, Lost Ark provide Pletcher a strong hand in Breeders’ Futurity; Sconsin tops TCA

Forte wins the 2022 Hopeful at Saratoga (Coglianese Photography)

Hall of Famer and two-time Kentucky Derby winner Todd Pletcher will be well-represented in Saturday’s $600,000 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. The 1 1/16-mile race will award a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland on Nov. 4 and serves as a qualifier for the 2023 Kentucky Derby, with the top five finishers receiving points on 10-4-3-2-1 scale toward a spot in the 20-horse field.

Forte, a three-length winner of the Sept. 5 Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga, heads the Pletcher duo. By Violence, the dark bay colt shows a sharp series of works in preparation, and Irad Ortiz Jr. retains the mount aboard the promising colt.

Lost Ark, a convincing winner of both starts, will make his graded debut for Pletcher following a 7 1/2-length romp in the Aug. 27 Sapling S. at Monmouth Park. Flavien Prat, who was up for an eye-catching debut win at Belmont Park, retakes the assignment aboard the bay son of Violence.

A total of 16 are entered, including a pair of also-eligibles, and Loggins will receive support after crushing maiden special weight foes in his first start at Churchill Downs on Sept. 17. The word was out on the Brad Cox-trained Ghostzapper colt, as Loggins was bet down to odds-on, and he received a 99 Brisnet Speed rating for the 8 1/2-length decision. Loggins is likely to show speed with Florent Geroux.

Cox will also send out Instant Coffee, who adds the services of Luis Saez after winning his first career appearance at Saratoga on Sept. 3. The late-running dark bay colt is by freshman sire Bolt d’Oro.

Iroquois (G3) runner-up Honed is one of two entrants for Kenny McPeek, who also has last-out allowance romper Frosted Departure in the main body of the field. Julien Leparoux guides late-running Honed, and Brian Hernandez Jr. should be forwardly-placed from the rail with Frosted Departure.

Bob Baffert ships in Newgate, a convincing debut winner and fourth most recently in the Del Mar Futurity (G1). Regular rider John Velazquez has the call. Last-out maiden winner Carmel Road will need a defection to draw in from the also-eligible list for Baffert.

Other runners include Bourbon Bash, Funtastic Again, Powerful, Red Route One, and Two Phil’s.

Two races earlier on the program, three-time graded winner Sconsin heads a field of nine females in the $350,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) seeking a “Win & You’re In” spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

An earner of nearly $1 million, Sconsin will seek to rebound after a third to Bell’s the One in the Open Mind S. at Churchill Downs on Sept. 17. Greg Foley conditions the five-year-old stalker, and Tyler Gaffalione will be up.

Slammed invades following a half-length second in the Aug. 28 Rancho Bernardo H. (G2) at Del Mar. A five-time stakes winner over New Mexico-bred stakes foes, the four-year-old filly has really come on in her last two starts for Todd Fincher, and Geroux takes over the reins on the frontrunner.

The six-furlong test has also attracted Grade 3 scorer Carribean Caper, who sustained her first setback when returning from an 11-month layoff in the Aug. 16 Seeking the Pearl S. at Colonial Downs. The four-year-old filly is eligible to move forward in her second start back, and Jose Ortiz rides for Al Stall Jr.

Multiple stakes winner Li’l Tootsie is also entered, and Palm Cottage will make her stakes bow following back-to-back allowance tallies at Ellis Park and Saratoga.