Trainer Todd Pletcher sent a trio of Triple Crown contenders to the training track at Palm Beach Downs early Saturday morning for breezes, including Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) winner Materiality, Fountain of Youth (G2) winner and Florida Derby fourth-place finisher Itsaknockout, and Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up Stanford.
The three colts turned in their first works since their last respective starts, which all came on March 28, and each worked in company. Itsaknockout, paired with recent Tamarac Stakes winner Competitive Edge, who is targeting the Pat Day Mile on May 2, worked a half-mile 49.06 seconds over the Palm Beach Downs dirt oval. The duo covered the last quarter-mile in 23.41 seconds without much urging.
“It was a good, progressive breeze,” Pletcher said of the work. “They picked it up as they went along, and they galloped out well. I was happy with it.”
Materiality followed, and the undefeated son of Afleet Alex worked in company with Stanford, impressing with a 48.41-second 4-furlong breeze. The two quickened in the second half of the work, covering their final quarter-mile in a brisk 22.50 seconds. Although they ran jointly, Materiality finished with a slight edge over his workmate.
“I thought both horses worked extremely well,” Pletcher said. “They went off easy and finished up strongly, galloped out great. Both seem to be moving very well.”
With the Triple Crown set to kick off in three weeks, Pletcher said his contenders are showing him the things that he looks for leading up to the spring classics.
“I look for the same kind of thing [that I saw today],” Pletcher said. “I just hope that they continue to work well and do well. I'm really happy with the way all three of those horses, over all, are doing. Their appetites are good. They're moving well. They have good coats. They're showing us all the right signs.”
Materiality, Itsaknockout, and Stanford will continue to train in South Florida and will record one more breeze at Palm Beach Downs before heading north on Tuesday, April 21.
“They'll breeze a week from today here (at Palm Beach Downs), and they'll fly to Louisville on the 21st,” Pletcher said. “Then they'll have one breeze at Churchill, probably on the Saturday before the [Kentucky] Derby.”
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