Shadwell Mile ‘Would Make A Lot Of Sense’ For Halladay After Fourstardave Victory

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Harrell Ventures’ Halladay was in good order following his gate-to-wire victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which was a first graded stakes win for the gray son of War Front.

The six-time winner broke a step slow but quickly found his footing and commanded the pace of the one-mile event over the Spa’s inner turf from start to finish, holding off a challenge from defending winner Got Stormy.

Halladay arrived at the Fourstardave off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch, where he took back and stalked the pace, and finished 1 1/2 lengths to frontrunning winner Somelikeithotbrown.

“I was very happy with the way he looked this morning,” Pletcher said. “It took him a few strides to get his legs underneath him, but once he did, he did everything easy. It appeared on paper that we were the primary speed, so our strategy was to go ahead and let him do his thing. If someone were to have gone cruising we could have adjusted, but he made the lead the way he did and moved comfortably after not getting off to a great break, but once he got to the first turn, he moved excellent.”

Pletcher said the turf was not as kind to frontrunners during the early portion of the meet, but that it has become fairer as the season has progressed.

“At the very beginning it didn’t seem like it was, but now that things have balanced out it’s become a more fair turf course,” Pletcher said. “I was happy to see him handle some give in the ground. When it rained in the morning, I was concerned because I think he’s even better on firm ground, but he seemed to handle that just fine yesterday.”

In winning the Fourstardave, a Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” event, Halladay earned an automatic entry into the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 7 at Keeneland.

Pletcher said Halladay could return in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile on October 3 at Keeneland.

“We’re in no rush to make a decision but the Shadwell would make a lot of sense if we decide that we want to run between now and the Breeders’ Cup,” Pletcher said.

Never worse than fourth in 14 starts, Halladay capped off his 3-year-old season with a victory in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park before winning the Sunshine Forever on May 9 at the South Florida oval.

The win also marked 23 straight years Pletcher has won a Grade 1 dating back to 1998.

Grade 1 winner Basin worked a half-mile in 48.33 seconds Sunday on the main track.

Owned by Everett Dobson’s Cheyenne Stables, the son of second crop sire Liam’s Map will point towards Saturday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Amsterdam.

Basin will be making his debut for Pletcher after previously being campaigned by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen.

“I was pleased with his work this morning, so right now the plan is the Amsterdam,” Pletcher said. “We’ll see how he responds to the cutback in distance and make a decision on what’s next after that.”

The post Shadwell Mile ‘Would Make A Lot Of Sense’ For Halladay After Fourstardave Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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