05/19/2013 9:55AM

Preakness Stakes: Plesa pleased with Itsmyluckyday's performance

Tom Keyser
Itsmyluckyday and jockey John Velazquez after finishing second in the Preakness at Pimlico on Saturday.

BALTIMORE – Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. expressed satisfaction Sunday morning that his 3-year-old Itsmyluckyday bounced back from his 15th-place non-effort in the Kentucky Derby with a solid second-place finish in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.

Plesa said that while he wasn’t seeking validation for himself, he hoped Saturday’s performance would quiet those who were critical of Itsmyluckyday after his disappointing race in the Derby, which was run over a sloppy Churchill Downs track.

“I’m glad for him,” Plesa said. “He didn’t deserve all the criticism that he got, but that’s life.”

Itsmyluckyday entered the Kentucky Derby highly regarded, coming off wins in the Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull Stakes as well as a second-place finish to Orb in the Florida Derby following a nine-week layoff.

But in the Kentucky Derby, Itsmyluckyday just spun his wheels over the off going and was beaten 22 1/4 lengths by Orb.

Plesa said the Belmont Stakes on June 8 is under consideration for Itsmyluckday, “but it’s not high on the priority list.”

[PREAKNESS STAKES: Race replays and reactions from Pimlico]

The $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 28 is high on Plesa’s priority list because that’s where the colt spent last summer – winning first out – and that’s where he shipped back to Sunday morning. If Plesa elects to skip the Belmont, he would have to decide whether to prep for the Haskell in either the Grade 3, $150,000 Pegasus on June 16 or the $100,000 Long Branch on July 7. He also could simply train Itsmyluckyday up to the Haskell.

However, given how well Plesa said Itsmyluckyday came out of the Preakness, he may be hard-pressed to wait until July 28 to run him.

“He couldn’t have come out of the race any better,” Plesa said. “It’s all you can do to walk him around the shed. He’s just dragging you. He’s dragging us like he was dragging us before the race, and he ate up everything, didn’t leave one iota of his dinner last night, which is a great sign.”

If he skips the Belmont and runs in the Haskell, Itsmyluckyday probably won’t meet either the Derby winner, Orb, or the Preakness winner, Oxbow, until possibly the Travers at Saratoga in August.

“I’m not looking to get revenge or anything like that,” Plesa said. “I’m just trying to look for the best race possible for him that will enhance his value later on. I certainly would like to win a Grade 1 with him, so hopefully we will.”

John Burton More than 1 year ago
Congratulations, Mr. Plesa and ITSMYLUCKYDAY on your second place finish in the PREAKNESS! At the last minute, I threw-ouy DEPARTING and boxed ITSMYLUCKYDAY with OXBOW. I had always liked ITSMYLUCKYDAY. I had a future bet on him and I bet him in the Florida Derby. I agree, his run in the Preakness validated what a great horse he is! I bet I will see you and him at MONMOUTH on Haskell Day! Good luck!
Melvin Krohn More than 1 year ago
IMLD cant win a Grade 1 race unless he runs against Grade 3 horses in a Grade 1 Race. Wait till he runs against older horses. He might be relegated to listed stakes races and not Graded Stakes races. You cant really believe that he is better than ORB. Hope they meet numerous times in the future.
brian More than 1 year ago
I think your under-rating the horse a little bit...
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
What is the formula for receiving a 106 beyer # and running a very slow race ? i am just asking , anybody care to explain ?
Black More than 1 year ago
Buy the book !
Perl More than 1 year ago
The other two stakes races were at 8.5f and went in 1:46 and change. That suggests that the 1:57 and 2/5ths final time was not so bad at all, when you consider that stakes filly Summer Applause ran the time that she did and decent 3yo Code West also went 1:46. I don't take Beyer figs so seriously but the race was probably not that slow when you look at the comparables.
Sam Shelby More than 1 year ago
Dude, Andrew Beyer is a complete fraud. I`ve repeated this 100 times but i`ll make it 101. Seen him on 60 minutes years ago and his expertise is to play as many combinations as possible and hope for a huge payout. This particular race he played for 60 minutes he won ZERO. I`ve seen many pathological gamblers and they will all try to impress you with their expertise, when in reality they should quit. and the higher the IQ of the pathological gambler, (Harvard Alum) the more deluded they are.
Black More than 1 year ago
Spoken like a 90 IQer
mark More than 1 year ago
@ Billy. I dont think the race was as slow as you think. I'm not too sure what the track variant was the previous day vs preakness day, but they ran a full second faster than the pimilco special.
fuggedabodit More than 1 year ago
This horse will win a grade 1 more sooner than later, he's got too much talent not to. I had him to win in the Preakness. He was coming late, but just had too much to do. Anyhow, this colt certainly redeemed himself!
Gary Camejo More than 1 year ago
DON'T go beyond 1 1/8 with this very talented colt and you would reap rewards.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
People contnue to try to say that Pimlico's dirt track doesn't favor speed but on Saturday you could hear the horses hoofs clicking over that rock-hard track surface on TV just like you were right there on the rail in person! Churchill is a deep, tiring track! Pimlico is not, period!!!
Perl More than 1 year ago
If Pimlico is not tiring then how come the final times were so slow on Saturday? You may want to rethink your assessment that the track was rock hard.
brian More than 1 year ago
Um, you might want to look at all the charts from Preakness Day. The track wasn't close to being blazing fast...
Juan More than 1 year ago
REVINDICATION is the to describe IMLD,Johnny V a GREAT HOOPED in the race,Likeli JV ride in BELMONT STAKES
Bob More than 1 year ago
Most of you talk like horses have gas pedals . They cannot turn it on when they want . It is rare. We tend to call it bouncing...stop playing so much into who is riding the horse as well. You need the right horse on the right day. . Everything else is hindsight. Times , Beyers , comment lines. All that comes after the race. Just ask any jockey and they'll tell ya. Rosario was GOD 3 days ago . Now look at the comments you're reading about him .
kwtalk More than 1 year ago
He didn't ride a sorry race until yesterday. Maybe he was tired from all the excitement after the Derby and riding too many mounts before the Preakness.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Good jockeys lose approx 80% of their races. Look it up. If not more , so those odds alone tell you to never follow a jockey.
Perl More than 1 year ago
The horse didn't fire.
philcoforde More than 1 year ago
Happy for Plesa !!! JV helped too. And my buddy who said IMLD was just a 'miler' is pretty quiet today.
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
He's not quiet. That would be Perl. Go anywhere on the DRF, & he's spouting the same old garbage, even after IMLD ran a BiG 2nd. It didn't matter that the Ky. Derby winner was in the race. Of course, he wouldn't let the facts get in the way of his story about Pinocchio.......& his looooong nose.
Perl More than 1 year ago
You know Curtis, in light of the admin deleting our back-and-forth, I propose that we turn the page and bury the proverbial hatchet. Life is too short to be brawling on the intranets. Good luck at the windows and I look forward to more spirited debate about the horse of kings in the near future.
jttf More than 1 year ago
itsmyluckyday runs just like his daddy did. runs well everywhere but on churchill dirt at 10 furlongs and not quite as good on turf. he also recovers well from lasix abuse.