03/09/2013 4:31PM

Gulfstream Park: Itsmyluckyday gets Plesa treatment in workout at Calder

Tom Keyser
Itsmyluckyday is preparing for the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream on March 30.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The “Plesa Mile” is what the Calder clocking crew calls it, those one-mile maintenance works that have been a staple around Eddie Plesa Jr.’s barn for longer than the veteran trainer cares to remember.

Low-level claimer or Kentucky Derby contender, at one time or another almost all of Plesa’s horses get at least one opportunity to do the “Plesa Mile.” On Saturday morning, it was Itsmyluckyday’s turn, the winner of Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Holy Bull breezing the distance in 1:46.18 shortly before dawn over his home base at Calder Race Course.

At first it appeared Itsmyluckyday, who is preparing for the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream on March 30, was just out for an easy stroll after covering his opening half mile in a leisurely 55.01 seconds. He began picking up the pace entering the second turn and especially upon getting a little unexpected company when he was joined by an unidentified worker approaching the stretch. Itsmyluckyday completed his final quarter-mile under mild urging in 24.63 seconds before galloping out a strong 1 1/8 miles in 1:59.51.

“He worked exactly liked I wanted him to, did it easily and galloped out nice and strong,” Plesa said. “He picked up a little company, but it didn’t matter because he relaxed. It didn’t shake him up one way or the other, which shows how he’s maturing, getting better, getting stronger.”

Plesa said he likes to breeze his horses a mile from time to time because he feels they get more out of working that distance than they would a half-mile or five-eighths.

“Especially over the racetrack here at Calder. When you work on this track it gets you fit to run over any racetrack,” said Plesa, who is among the winningest trainers in Calder history. “All I’m trying to do is maintain him right now. I wanted to get this into him just because it’s been a little while. He’s ready.”

Despite winning both the Gulfstream Park Derby and the Holy Bull, Itsmyluckyday, who is owned by the Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa, has only 10 qualifying points and will need another big effort in the Grade 1 Florida Derby to earn his way into this year’s Kentucky Derby field.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

“I’ll be glad when it gets here,” Plesa said about the Florida Derby. “I just had a discussion with the ownership last week, and we decided if for some reason he doesn’t have enough points to get in after this race, we’re not going to push the horse to make it to the Derby. Barring the unforeseen, hopefully we won’t have to worry about that.”

Saturday was a busy morning for the Plesa stable. In addition to working Itsmyluckyday, Plesa also sent out his other Kentucky Derby hopeful, Speak Logistics, to breeze an easy half-mile in 49.58 seconds and the speedy stakes winner Brave Dave three-eighths in 38.20 in his first work back since getting a little time off on the farm earlier this winter.

Plesa is pointing the Centaur Farm-owned Speak Logistics, who finished third in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 23, to the Grade 1 Wood at Aqueduct on April 6.

“I was very pleased with the way he worked. He finished up strong and galloped out well,” said Plesa. “I thought he ran a great race, as good as he could, in the Fountain of Youth. He’s got 11 points. It is the Kentucky Derby for that ownership group, and they said let’s give him one more chance and see what happens. If it doesn’t work out, we’ve got a lot of other options.”

Plesa said Joe Bravo will ride Speak Logistics in the Wood.

Pawn More than 1 year ago
Elvis is my cousin and he said to bet this horse in the Florida derby!
Anil More than 1 year ago
I am really happy for Elvis Trujillo..... He won for me when I own horses. This horse is for real . Of all the preps so far he really impressed me. If he gets to the Derby he would be my key . Good luck Elvis!!!!
dameian ramsay More than 1 year ago
We'll find out if itsmyluckyday is for real with the rematch with shanghai bobby in the Florida derby. He can b this yrs I'll have another and verrazano being bodemeister
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Have to love those one mile works. Race 6 yest at TBD had a Ness/Centeno with a one mile work and he flew home @ 5/2. This is a serious contender - can't blame anyone for putting him in the Top 5 w/ 55 days to the first Sat in May (read: a lot can still happen).
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
This is the Derby winner.
Roger More than 1 year ago
II think it could be bad for this horse to run in the Fla Derby. Came back from the FOY looking pretty distressed. Runs full out and now he is attempting a distance that I don't think he can do. Has too many races and this racing strip can be tough on horses. I look for a big flop here at the very least.
scott More than 1 year ago
What is it that makes you think he cannot make the 9 furlongs of the FL derby? What is the correct number of races he should have so far? And where would you run the horse next if he was yours?
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Is this the only argument people make this time of year? Distance? Any off these horses can get the distance. It's about the numbers. He is sporting back to back 2's on the sheets meaning he is running harder and faster than any of his peers. As far as I'm concerned any of this years group can show up and Itsmyluckyday wil beat him. The ONLY horse running numbers near him is Verrazano and believe me, Pletcher uses Sheets And doesn't want to see that 3-0 record disappear.
Thomas Pierson More than 1 year ago
first turn was a little bothersome. could get smothered in may
Tom Temple More than 1 year ago
This horse is the real deal and could win the Derby with a halfway decent trip.
Thomas Pierson More than 1 year ago
I was a little warm on him. He seems like he can carry his weight. I would be interested in seeing your thoughts thus far. Here are mine in no particular order and subject to change. Flashback Verrazano Itsmyluckyday and a few horses that i have question marks around are Orb, Revolutionary and Tiz the Truth