July 19, 2024

Pletcher sends Agate Road, Tireless to Sam F. Davis; Life Talk tops six in Suncoast

Agate Road in The Pilgrim S. at Aqueduct
Agate Road wins the Pilgrim at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

Todd Pletcher had to alter course when Grade 1 winner Locked was forced to bypass Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) due to a fever, substituting Grade 2 turf winner Agate Road and last-out maiden scorer Tireless in his place. A total of 12 sophomores are entered for the Road to the Kentucky Derby series event, the first of two qualifiers at Tampa Bay Downs this year, and the $150,000 Suncoast S. serves as Kentucky Oaks counterpart earlier on the 11-race program.

Both races offer points on a 20-10-6-4-2 basis.

Winner of the Pilgrim (G2) and a closing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), Agate Beach will switch back to the main track after a runner-up in the Dania Beach S. at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 6. Jose Ortiz takes the assignment on the late-running son of Quality Road. Tireless, a son of Not This Time, made his seasonal debut a winning one at Tampa Bay on Jan. 24, graduating in his fourth start, and Antonio Gallardo picks up the mount for his stakes debut.

Change of Command, a $1.05 million Into Mischief colt trained by Shug McGaughey, will add blinkers and try stakes competition following a pair of wins at Gulfstream. A maiden winner two back, Change of Command stretched to two turns with a front-running triumph over entry-level allowance foes on Jan. 5, and Tyler Gaffalione will guide.

Other contenders in the 1 1/16-mile race include Inaugural S. victor Patriot Spirit; Grade 3 winner West Saratoga, a non-threatening second the Jan. 13 Pasco at Tampa; juvenile stakes winner Copper Tax; and Crazy Mason and Fulmineo, the top two finishers from a recent Tampa allowance.

Demoiselle (G2) romper Life Talk highlights six fillies in the Suncoast at a mile and 40 yards. Fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) two back, the Pletcher-trained Gun Runner filly will have Jose Ortiz for her return.

Her challengers include Power Squeeze, a flashy five-length winner of the Cash Run S. on New Year’s Day at Gulfstream; last-out Tampa maiden winner Whocouldaskformo, who will try stakes company for McGaughey; and Gasparilla runner-up Gorgeous Girl.