09/30/2013 1:22PM

Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile: Graydar keeping options open

Tom Keyser
Graydar wins Saturday’s Kelso Invitational at Belmont Park.

It was a case of win some lose some for Todd Pletcher over the weekend, as Graydar returned from six months on the sidelines to win Saturday’s Kelso Invitational at Belmont Park, while the announcement of Shanghai Bobby’s retirement came the very next day.

Graydar, idle since taking the New Orleans Handicap in late March due to the removal of an ankle chip, got clear through moderate early fractions and held stubbornly to win the one-mile Kelso in a sharp 1:34.08, earning a 103 Beyer Speed Figure. The gray colt by Unbridled’s Song earned $240,000 and a fees-paid berth to the Dirt Mile, but Pletcher left the door open to a shot at the Classic.

“We’re going to the Breeders’ Cup, but I don’t know that we’ve decided which race just yet,” he said. “We’ve got plenty of time to sort it out. I think we got, conditioning-wise, enough so that if he trains accordingly, he might be able to” get the Classic distance.

Meanwhile, it was discovered that Shanghai Bobby came out of his comeback win in the Aljamin overnight stakes on Sept. 20 with an injured suspensory ligament, and he was retired. He will become the fourth straight 2-year-old champion to stand at Ashford Stud, joining Lookin At Lucky, Uncle Mo, and Hansen.

The Pletcher-trained Cross Traffic, who lost all chance stumbling badly at the start of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, also could go either the Dirt Mile or Classic route.

[BREEDERS’ CUP 2013: See DRF’s top contenders]

Brujo de Olleros, a South American import plucked out of Uruguay last year by Team Valor International, ran himself into the Dirt Mile discussion with a rallying second in the slow-paced Kelso that earned a 102 Beyer.

“It looked like he had a shot turning for home,” trainer Rick Mettee said. “I was a little worried when they put the 23 [seconds] up there . . . I think we have to be really happy with the  result.”

In the wake of Mucho Macho Man’s first Grade 1 win in the Awesome Again, a number of horses in his wake seem like candidates to turn back in distance, including, but not limited to, Golden Ticket, Liaison, Paynter, and Soi Phet.

Perl More than 1 year ago
I've got this horse on my (G)radar.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
The DRF moderator is running a bad second to the sales pimps... unless DRF wants that crap littering their pages(?)
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
phil bailey More than 1 year ago
always the stepsister who makes the dollars...I hate that. Hmmm...what type of website does your classmates stepsister work on...just sayin
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
The Mile will be loaded, the Classic needs speed.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Why does the classic need speed, you think dude will take it 47 half mile or higher easily? Fort larned can run with dude he won last year. Even though Dude miss the break or whatever happen there. I think classic is ok for speed.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
quality speed that can carry and go with Dude every step. Larned is not the same as last year. That people say Dude lost for missing the break is a joke.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fort Larned's Stephen foster was a MONSTER performance. Should be sitting on a nice race off that last one. IMO. Agree about dude 100%.
Nicholas Mantzanas More than 1 year ago
Fort larned ste fost was 3 races ago. And in the last one he was being reeled in by a rat. I bet FL last year but he is done this year