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Aqueduct: Revolutionary headed to Florida to get ready for one last Kentucky Derby prep
Revolutionary’s thrilling neck victory in Saturday’s Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct not only earned him a spot on the Triple Crown trail, but it also earned him a trip to south Florida, where he will train while his connections plot out his next race.
Revolutionary, owned by WinStar Farm, overcame a slow start and New York City-like rush hour traffic to get up in the final strides over Escapefromreality to win the Withers. It was Revolutionary’s second straight victory and it earned him 10 points toward qualifying for the May 4 Kentucky Derby.
On Tuesday, Revolutionary, will be shipped by van from Belmont Park to the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida, where his trainer Todd Pletcher is based with all of his top horses. Pletcher reiterated Sunday what WinStar Farm president Elliot Walden said Saturday that Revolutionary will likely have one more race prior to the Kentucky Derby. Pletcher said it was too soon to know where and when that would be.
“My answer is I don’t know right now,” Pletcher said by phone from south Florida. “Put them all down.”
Pletcher and WinStar won the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver, who came out of the Arkansas Derby. But Pletcher said that if Revolutionary was only going to have one more race, he may not want it to be three weeks out from the Kentucky Derby. Races such as the Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby, both on March 30, may fit better from a timing-perspective.
“We’ll consider the Florida Derby because we’re here and the Fair Grounds, with the long stretch there, you would think that would suit him,” Pletcher said. “There are pros and cons with all of them.”
Pletcher watched the Withers on television from the box seat section at Gulfstream Park. He was obviously concerned when Revolutionary got off to a slow start - the fourth time in five races that has happened - and was impressed by the fact he was able to overcome all the traffic to get up under jockey Javier Castellano.
“We didn’t get to the first turn the way we were hoping so plan B came into play - bide our time and see what happens,” Pletcher said. “Every time Javier tried to make up some position there was another place where there was nowhere to go. I could tell he had a lot of horse if he ever was going to get the opportunity to run.”
While Revolutionary will head to Florida, Withers runner-up Escapefromreality will stay in New York and most likely point to the Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 2. That race is expected to draw Remsen winner Overanalyze and Jimmy Winkfield winner Clawback.
A New York-bred gelding by Read the Footnotes, Escapefromreality overcame some traffic of his own to run a solid second in his first start around two turns.
“I’m happy with him, first time going two turns coming out of two sprints,” trainer Dominick Schettino said. “The winner ran a hell of race, but he had run four times.”
Escapefromreality came out of the race “in excellent shape,” according to Schettino.
Revolutionary and Escapefromreality both earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 86.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said that Valid, who stumbled badly at the break of the Withers and finished seventh, tore off a piece of his right front hoof, known as a grabbed quarter, but will ultimately be fine.
McLaughlin had no excuse for Long River, who finished last.
“Just disappointed,” McLaughlin said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board.”
rev. must draw inside post to have a chance
wow rev. finished full of run bet him in the first pool before the cat is out of the bag only concern is a clean break but still worth the chance @50-1
On the contrary; Kudos to Javi for giving this relatively inexperienced young colt a masters education in the real world of larger fields. Sure he could have swung outside and annihilated this field and added another 10 pts. to his Beyer, but what would that prove... We now know Rev's got real talent and heart. Next will be the class test where the waters get deeper and the sharks await . VERY enthused indeed ; )
why is everyone patting Castellano on the back? The horse won despite him. Watch the horse's previous races....under 2 master jockeys (Velasquez and Dominguez) the horse settle nicely. Castellano missed the break then couldn't get the horse to settle.....he is a genius because he waited inside instead of going 8 wide on the turn, as only a 10 apprentice may have?
Have they tried blinkers with Revolutionary? They probably don't want to risk it, but the sky is the limit if they could fix his breaking issues. I know it's very early, but I think we saw three this weekend (Flashback, Verrazano, and Revolutionary) leap to the top of the pack.
This might be one horse that a Trainer could learn from. Is he enough to train the Lucas out of Pletcher?
I am so impressed with this horse, I can't begin to tell you. In the Withers some people are saying that he ran green...I didn't see that. I saw a horse who got a slow start. His rider (Javier Castellano) waited patiently for room which Castellano thought he had at the quarter pole, but he had to practically stop his horse, then get him back in stride again. Castellano stopped him again down the stretch trying to go outside, then he straightened him out and found room between horses. This horse has shown he can recover quickly. He's a push button horse, and he's tough.......I know it's early, but this horse excites the hell out of me!
The Derby has become a joke. The horse will race one more time before the Derby? Obviously this point system change is doing nothing for the race.
You might want to look at the list of all the prep races so far and see the only horse to win at 1-1/8. Also who has the top Beyer in a prep route? It is Overanalyze. And thanks to the recent hype of Violence, Verrazano, Flashback and others he should be a fair price in the first derby pool next week.
he has trouble with an 8 horse field. how is he going to handle a 20 horse field ?