Coal Front outkicked a hard-charging American Pastime to win the Grade 3 Gallant Bob on Saturday at Park Racing, but trainer Todd Pletcher said the victory in the six-furlong race on Pennsylvania Derby Day included a setback.
“I thought he ran well, unfortunately he came out of it with a condylar fracture in his right front,” Pletcher said. “He'll have surgery tomorrow. We're optimistic he can come back well from it. Obviously, we'll know more after the surgery.”
The 3-year-old Stay Thirsty colt won his first stakes start at Saratoga Race Course, winning the Grade 2 Amsterdam on July 29 before running fifth in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens on August 26. Coal Front has four wins in five starts.
Pletcher said Keen Ice and Destin came out of their breezes Saturday in good order in preparation for the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 7 as part of Super Saturday at Belmont.
Keen Ice and Destin, Pletcher's two definite Gold Cup starters, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.97 in company on Belmont's training track.
Keen Ice, who won the Grade 2 Suburban on July 8 before finishing second to Gun Runner in the Grade 1 Whitney last out on August 5, has put in three works on Belmont's training track since shipping from Saratoga.
Destin, the 2016 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes runner-up, will be returning to stakes company after back-to-back races against allowances company since a nearly nine-month layoff following a ninth-place finish in the 2016 Grade 1 Travers.
“He's getting gradually better with a couple of races under his belt,” Pletcher said. “He's run well at Belmont in the past and the mile and a quarter suits him well, so he looks like he's coming along the right way.”
Pletcher said that Rally Cry is also a possibility for the Gold Cup. After a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Woodward on September 2, the 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo has been training at Saratoga, breezing four furlongs in 50.03 seconds on the Oklahoma training track Saturday.
Maraud, who won his debut on September 2 at the Spa, will make his first stakes start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim on September 30, Pletcher said. The trainer said the juvenile Blame colt has been training well at Saratoga, breezing Friday on the Oklahoma turf track.
Seabhac, who won his debut on August 5 at the Spa before running fourth in the Grade 3 With Anticipation on August 30, could also be a possibility for the Pilgrim.
“We had originally planned to go to Keeneland with Seabhac, but it sounds as if he might not get in if the race oversubscribes, which it sounds like it will, so we might switch gears and come here,” Pletcher said about the colt owned by Donegal Racing.
Orbolution, coming off back-to-back wins, including a victory in the P.G. Johnson on August 31, breezed four furlongs in 50.77 seconds Sunday over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track as she gets ready to make her first graded stakes start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Miss Grillo on October 1.
Eskenformoney, who has finished on the board in her last three starts, including a third-place effort in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on August 26, is still on target to run in the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame on Saturday, Pletcher said.
Hazit, an impressive maiden winner on August 26, will make the step up to stakes company in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne for 2-year-olds on Super Saturday. Mojovation could also be entered in that race or the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on the same day.
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