09/28/2011 1:36PM

Breeders' Cup: Finale gives Pletcher another strong shot in Juvenile Turf

David Owens/Equi-Photo
Todd Pletcher runner Finale is unbeaten on the grass.

Three of the five Win and You’re In stakes have been run for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, which has been upgraded from Grade 2 to Grade 1 status this year.

State of Play took the Grade 2 With Anticipation at Saratoga, to remain unbeaten in two starts for trainer Graham Motion and owner Team Valor International the same connections as Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

The hot Irish runner Power captured the Group 1 Goffs National over seven furlongs of soft ground at The Curragh. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Power is 4 for 5, with his lone defeat being a neck loss in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes.

Finale remained unbeaten on the grass with a hard-fought score in the Grade 3 Summer over a mile at Woodbine. After breaking awkwardly, the heavily favored Finale pressed a slow pace on the outside before wearing down the less-experienced Excaper in deep stretch. His time of 1:35.51 was .51 of a second slower than Northern Passion’s clocking in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the same card.

The Todd Pletcher-trained Finale was coming off a 10 1/2-length triumph in the Continental Mile Stakes at Monmouth. Last year, Pletcher swept the Summer and BC Juvenile Turf with Pluck, who was disqualified from second and placed fourth in the Continental Mile.

The two remaining Win and You’re In races are both in Europe. They are the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Oct. 2 and the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 8.

The other two important stakes in this division are Sunday’s Grade 3 Pilgrim at Belmont and the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland on Oct. 9.

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