Pletcher Sends No Word, En Wye Cee For Knickerbocker

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle a formidable duo in En Wye Cee and No Word in Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Knickerbocker, a nine-furlong inner turf test for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont Park.

Wertheimer and Frere’s homebred No Word, a 4-year-old Silent Name colt, competed in both legs of last year’s Turf Triple series, finishing third in the 1 3/16-mile Saratoga Derby Invitational and second in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby.

No Word made both of his two starts this year at Saratoga Race Course, including a wide-traveling eighth in an optional-claimer in August ahead of a game second last out in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap, contested over yielding ground on September 6.

“First start back he had a bad trip and was hung out wide the whole way,” Pletcher said. “I thought he ran much better next time, but unfortunately didn’t have much of a pace to run at. He ran well in spite of that.”

Out of the A.P. Indy mare Listen A.P., No Word is a full brother to multiple graded-stakes winner Silentio.

“He’s a horse we always thought had graded stake ability, so we’re giving it another try,” Pletcher said.

Waterford Stable’s homebred En Wye Cee, a 5-year-old son of Declaration of War, finished a prominent third in last year’s Knickerbocker to close out his 2020 campaign.

The lightly-raced bay, who sports a ledger of 8-3-0-4, made his seasonal debut with a third-place finish to Knickerbocker-rival L’Imperator in a nine-furlong optional-claiming tilt on August 4 over firm footing at the Spa. He was scheduled to run in the Bernard Baruch but was scratched following an afternoon rainstorm softened the sod.

“He’s a consistent horse. He got a little unlucky and had to scratch with the soft turf the other day, so hopefully the ground remains firm and he gets a chance to do his thing,” Pletcher said.

Hall of Famer John Velazquez will pilot En Wye Cee from post 8, while Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will guide No Word from post 9.

Phipps Stable’s homebred Breaking the Rules finished fourth as the mutuel favorite in last year’s Knickerbocker.

Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who won back-to-back editions of the Knickerbocker with Boisterous in 2012-13, the now 6-year-old Breaking the Rules will look to make the grade while making his third start of the campaign.

Following an off-the-board effort in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational in January at Gulfstream Park, the multiple graded-stakes placed son of War Front returned off a seven-month layoff to best Knickerbocker-rival Sacred Life in a one-mile optional-claimer contested over firm footing at the Spa.

Joel Rosario has the call from post 2.

Flying P Stable’s Temple, a 5-year-old Temple City gelding, will look to go from claim-to-fame for trainer Tom Morley.

The dark bay was haltered for $80,000 out of a fifth-place finish in June at Belmont and after an off-the-board effort in the restricted Lure in August at Saratoga, Temple posted a solid one-length score in a 10-furlong optional-claiming event which garnered a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

Kendrick Carmouche picks up the mount from post 5.

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Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown will saddle Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Robert V. LaPenta’s L’Imperator and Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Michael J. Caruso’s Sacred Life.

A 4-year-old French-bred son of Holy Roman Emperor, L’Imperator launched his career in France winning two of four starts. He joined Brown last year and finished seventh in the Grade 3 Saranac last August in his lone sophomore start.

L’Imperator opened his campaign with a 1 3/4-length score in a nine-furlong optional-claiming tilt on August 4 at the Spa and finished an even third last out in the Bernard Baruch.

Sacred Life, a 6-year-old French-bred Siyouni ridgling, will look for his first win of the campaign while stepping up in distance from a pair of competitive efforts at one mile at the Spa, finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple in July and a closing second last out in an optional-claiming event on August 29.

Manny Franco will guide L’Imperator from post 4, while Sacred Life will emerge from post 3 under Jose Ortiz.

Rounding out the field are Corelli [post 6, Junior Alvarado], winner of the Grade 3 Singspiel in August at Woodbine; multiple graded stakes winner Field Pass [post 1, Dylan Davis]; and graded-stakes placed Epic Bromance [post 7, Jose Lezcano].

The Knickerbocker is slated as Race 8 on Sunday’s 9-race which also features the Grade 2, $250,000 Beldame at nine furlongs for fillies and mares; and the Grade 3, $150,000 Futurity, a six-furlong turf test for 2-year-olds offering a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.

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