10/19/2006 11:00PM

Pletcher goes three deep


Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out three horses Sunday in a bid for a second straight victory in the $75,000 Miss Grillo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the turf.

Pletcher will hope one of the three develops as nicely as last year's Miss Grillo winner, Wait a While, who is a leading contender for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

This time Pletcher has Storm Dixie, Brushed Gold, and Tremendous One, who will be uncoupled in the wagering.

Storm Dixie won first time out against New York-breds at Saratoga and followed with a third to Brushed Gold in an open first-level allowance at Belmont.

Brushed Gold is unbeaten in two grass starts. Her lone loss came in the off-the-turf P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga. She owns the best Beyer Speed Figure in the field, an 85, from her win last time out at Belmont on Sept. 29.

Tremendous One scored a neck victory at Saratoga in her debut. She then headed to Woodbine but was never a factor in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes as the 2-1 favorite.

Mystic Soul will be making an ambitious leap. She won her debut at Belmont on Oct. 5 for a $75,000 claiming tag and was taken by trainer Pat Reynolds, who has a history of success in turning claimers into stakes horses.

"She looks like a runner," Reynolds said. "It's a big leap from a claimer to a stakes, but with 2-year-olds it is possible. We'll take a run at it."

Reynolds credits owner Paul Pompa Jr. with the decision to take Mystic Soul from trainer Bill Mott.

"He noticed her work tab was very solid," said Reynolds. "She was working very steadily at Saratoga with no gaps at all. He felt the only way to get one from Mott was to get one early. After two or three races, he pretty much knows what he's got. She made a good appearance in the paddock coming from a good outfit, so we went ahead and took the gamble."

Mystic Soul adds Lasix for the Miss Grillo.

Chestoria became a different horse in her turf debut, winning her maiden against New York-breds by nine widening lengths for trainer Bruce Levine.

"I'm anxious to run her," Levine said. "She absolutely freaked on the grass. I thought she'd run well, but not win like that. She did nothing wrong and won very easy."

Completing the field are A Wonder She Is, Christmas Kid, Sharp Susan, Limoncella, and Real Property.

Valid Notebook points to Discovery

Valid Notebook, whom Reynolds claimed for $62,500 out of a debut victory in January at Gulfstream Park, will start in the Grade 3, $100,000 Discovery Handicap for 3-year-olds, the opening day feature Wednesday at Aqueduct.

Valid Notebook has a record of 2-2-1 in 6 starts since being claimed, and most recently finished second, beaten 10 1/4 lengths by Discreet Cat, in Belmont's Grade 2 Jerome Breeders' Cup Handicap.

"He's coming up to the race as good as any horse I've been around," Reynolds said. "He did try Discreet Cat. We were head-and-head with him for a quarter of a mile. He made another run at him around the turn. Most horses will try a super horse only once and then back off. I was real happy that he had enough courage to make a second run at him."

Other likely Discovery runners, according to stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, are Awfully Smart, Champ Safi, Master of Disaster, and Roman Dynasty.