12/16/2010 3:53PM

Calder: Pletcher scores with well bred first timer


Although he could have waited a few more weeks and run for a bit more money, trainer Todd Pletcher opted to launch Financial Empire's career today at Calder and the son of Empiure Maker responded with a game victory over the more experienced pair of Professor Palmer and Runyon Humor, whose dam Band Audit was a two time G2 winner, rallied five wide to gain the upper hand leaving the final turn under jockey Eibar Coa then outlasted Professor Palmer while getting in a bit near the end. The runner-up might have been best but did not get the best of rides, checking and losing considerable ground turning for home before rallying belatedly.  Financial Empire was well backed considering his breeding and connections, returning a mere $4.80.

Financial Empire was also the first horse to win from off the pace over the main track on the card. With a strong headwind blowing up the stretch, speed dominated the first half of the program save for a five furlong turf event captured from off the pace by Hope and Luck giving jockey Gary Bain just his second win in 2010.