Updated on 09/18/2011 2:13AM

Pletcher enters trio in Pegasus


High Cotton is the most accomplished of the three horses Todd Pletcher is considering running in the Pegasus.

Trainer Todd Pletcher holds a strong hand with three entrants in the Grade 3, $250,000 Pegasus Stakes for 3-year-olds Friday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Pletcher would not commit to running all three - High Cotton, Fairbanks, and Roman Dynasty - in the 1 1/8-mile race.

"I'm not sure exactly how many of them we're going to run," Pletcher said. "All three are doing really well. The only minus to this is running all three in the same race."

They would race uncoupled in the wagering.

High Cotton is the most accomplished of the Pletcher contingent. While no match for Bernardini last time out in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, High Cotton has logged three stakes wins this year: the Rushaway at Turfway Park, the Sir Barton at Pimlico, and the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Stakes at Churchill Downs. One of his better efforts was a neck loss to Deputy Glitters in the Grade 2 Ohio Derby at Thistledown.

"He's been a very consistent horse," Pletcher said. "He didn't run his race in the Travers, but his form prior to that was very good."

John Velazquez will ride High Cotton if he goes. Chris DeCarlo, Pletcher's main Monmouth Park jockey, was named on Roman Dynasty, who would be making his second dirt start after failing to hit the board in both $1 million races at Colonial Downs, the Colonial Turf Cup and the Virginia Derby.

Fairbanks carries a two-race win streak into what would be his stakes debut. Joe Bravo will ride for Pletcher, who won last year's Pegasus with Magna Graduate.

Also in the race is Gotcha Gold, who spent the summer in New Jersey as Florida-based trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. sent a division north to Monmouth Park. Gotcha Gold won a pair of Monmouth stakes: the Coronado's Quest and the off-the-turf Choice.

"Three-year-olds mature at different times," Plesa said. "It's just the way they are. Luckily for us, this one matured at the right time and really seemed to blossom once he shipped to New Jersey."

"He'll show his speed," Plesa said. "I hope he can carry his Monmouth form to the Meadowlands."

Eddie Castro will ride.

Bobby Frankel will use the Pegasus to give On Board Again his first stakes experience. On Board Again has two wins in three starts, including a first-level allowance win at Belmont Park last time out in which he earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

"My colt is doing well," Frankel said. "It's a great spot to step up for $250,000."

Javier Castellano, aboard for all three of On Board Again's races, has the return call.

Completing the field are Awfully Smart, Diamond Stripes, Harborage, and Hesanoldsalt.

Guess who has World Appeal favorite?

Pletcher is also well positioned Friday in the $55,000 World Appeal Stakes for 2-year-olds with Daytona.

A $200,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders' Sales auction in February, Daytona makes his second straight turf start following a rallying second in the Continental Mile at Monmouth Park. That stakes experience and an extra 70 yards in the World Appeal make Daytona a top contender. Velazquez has the ride.

New York-based trainer Christophe Clement is usually a factor when he sends a grass runner to New Jersey. Clement has March to Victory, who closed well to win his one-mile debut at Belmont Park. Bravo will ride.

* Gilded Gold, a winner of three straight turf sprint stakes from November through May, returns to the grass in the $55,000 Phoenix Stakes for fillies and mares at five furlongs.

* Amigoni, eighth as the favorite in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga, looks to rebound in the $55,000 Paterson Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

* Why Oh Why has the rail and Bravo in the irons for the $55,000 Accordant Handicap for New Jersey-breds at six furlongs.