10/29/2009 11:00PM

Devil May Care a two-turn beast


ELMONT, N.Y. - Todd Pletcher watched Devil May Care complete her final workout Friday morning for next Friday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, and the trainer had one wish.

"I wish the Juvenile Fillies was a mile and three-quarters," Pletcher said.

Unfortunately for Pletcher, the Juvenile Fillies is only 1 1/16 miles. The good news is it will be run around two turns. The bad news, at least for now, is that it will be run over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface.

"In a perfect world, this would be a great year to have the Breeders' Cup at Belmont for us," said Pletcher, who has 12 horses pre-entered in Breeders' Cup races. "It's not, it's the situation we have. I've got a lot of confidence in the filly and her ability. I think she'll run over anything, but you never know until they do it. We're hoping she likes it."

Devil May Care is one of only two of the 12 Juvenile Fillies pre-entrants who has not raced over a synthetic surface. Ms Vanenzza is the other. Pletcher didn't see the benefit of sending Devil May Care out to California early to get accustomed to the track. Last year, Pletcher shipped Munnings to Santa Anita last year to get a work over the track, and he finished 10th in the Juvenile.

"I thought the horse trained very well on it, thought he handled it. Come race time, I didn't think he fired," Pletcher said. "It's the only time in his career that he wasn't in the top three."

A case could be made that Munnings wasn't a true two-turn horse. That same case cannot be made for Devil May Care, a half-sister to the graded stakes winner Regal Ransom by Malibu Moon. On Friday, she worked five furlongs in 1:01.02 but galloped out seven furlongs in 1:28.36 with jockey John Velazquez having to reach down to grab her to get her stopped.

"She never gets tired this filly, that's the one thing we noticed in her training," Pletcher said. "At Saratoga we worked her from the gate and she just kept on going and going. She's screaming for two turns, the longer the better."

Devil May Care was purchased for $110,000 by David Greathouse's Glencrest Farm at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2008. Glencrest tried to pinhook the filly at the Fasig-Tipton 2-year-old-in-training auction in March, but the bidding stopped at $400,000, short of the reserve that was put on her, and she was returned to Glencrest.

Since she began training in the spring, everything has gone perfectly for Devil May Care. She won a by a head.

"There's never been a doubt in my mind that she's that type of filly that deserves a chance pointing for those kinds of races," Pletcher said. "The more we did with her, the better she got. The farther we worked her, the better she got, the stronger she'd gallop out. To me, she's a natural stayer, the kind that would get better and better as you went along."