Unbeaten Happy Saver Returns For Pletcher On Friday; Mind Control Joins Todd’s Squad

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher expressed excitement for the 4-year-old debut of Wertheimer et Frere’s undefeated Happy Saver, who is entered in Race 3 on Belmont’s Friday program – a one mile allowance optional claiming event at the Elmont, N.Y., track.

The son of Super Saver last raced in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in September at Belmont, where he defeated subsequent Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide.

Following some down time at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., Happy Saver began working regularly at Palm Beach Downs in early April before shipping to Pletcher’s division in Saratoga. His most recent breeze was a five-furlong work in 1:01.70 on May 21 over the Saratoga main track.

“I’m happy to get his season underway. Hopefully, we’ve done enough with him to have him ready, but I’m looking forward to getting him going,” Pletcher said.

Happy Saver will face a compact-but-salty field that includes stakes-placed Three Technique and recent winner Locally Owned.

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., who has piloted Happy Saver to three of his four wins, retains the mount from post 3.

Pletcher recently added a new member to his already stellar stable in Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables’ multiple Grade 1-winner Mind Control, who is targeting the Grade 2, $250,000 John A. Nerud, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses on July 4 offering a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Mind Control, a five-time graded-stakes winner for his former trainer Gregg Sacco, posted both his Grade 1 wins at the Spa, capturing the 2018 Hopeful as a juvenile and added the H. Allen Jerkens to conclude his sophomore season.

The talented horse followed his H. Allen Jerkens score with Grade 3 wins in the Toboggan and Tom Fool last year at the Big A to kick off his 4-year-old campaign.

Mind Control, who was second in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in April, was seventh last out in the Grade 1 Churchill Downs on May 1.

The 5-year-old Stay Thirsty bay worked a half-mile in 48.30 seconds Saturday on the Belmont dirt training track.

“The John Nerud is what we’re targeting at the moment,” Pletcher said. “He came to me in great shape and he’s a very straightforward and good-training horse. He looks good.”

A Kentucky homebred, Mind Control is out of the turf stakes-winning Lightnin N Thunder mare Feel That Fire, who has an unraced 2-year-old Mineshaft filly named Goddess of Fire.

Robert and Lawanna Low’s Spice Is Nice made the grade in the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff on May 14 at Pimlico and Pletcher said the chestnut Curlin filly, out of Grade 1-winner Dame Dorothy, is a possibility for the Grade 2, $300,000 Fleur de Lis on June 26 at Churchill Downs.

Spice Is Nice entered the Allaire DuPont from a sharp allowance victory on April 9 at Keeneland, when making her first start since finishing a distant sixth in the Grade 1 Alabama in August at Saratoga.

“She needed a break at that point,” Pletcher said. “She got a good break and came back better for it.”

Pletcher is expected to saddle Bourbonic, Known Agenda and Overtook in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday, June 5.

The veteran conditioner will also have a number of runners during the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival which kicks off on Thursday, June 3 and will include 17 stakes races in total with eight Grade 1 races to be contested on Belmont Stakes Day.

Day 1 of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival on Thursday, June 3 is a twilight racing program with a first post of 3:05 p.m. First post on Friday, June 4 is 12:50 p.m. First post on Belmont Stakes Day is 11:35 a.m.

Pletcher said his Belmont Stakes Day lineup will include Valiance in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ogden Phipps, a Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” event for the Distaff; as well as AjaaweedPortos and Moretti for the Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational presented by Northwell Health.

Always Shopping, a graded stakes winner on both dirt and turf, will target the Grade 2, $750,000 New York on Friday, June 4.

For information and details on Belmont Stakes hospitality offerings, ticket packages and pricing, visit BelmontStakes.com. For full terms and conditions, visit https://www.belmontstakes.com/tickets.

For additional information on health and safety protocols in effect for the 2021 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, please visit: https://www.belmontstakes.com/tickets/know-before-you-go.

The post Unbeaten Happy Saver Returns For Pletcher On Friday; Mind Control Joins Todd’s Squad appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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