08/31/2012 3:41PM

Saratoga: Even without Palace Malice, Pletcher has trio for Hopeful

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Barbara D. Livingston
Palace of Malice (right) will miss the rest of his 2-year-old season because of bucked shins.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Todd Pletcher suffered the first significant setback among his 2-year-old army when Palace Malice sustained bucked shins, which will cause him to miss the major races in the fall.

Palace Malice, one of 20 2-year-old maiden winners sent out by Pletcher at this meet, was being pointed for Monday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Hopeful Stakes. Instead, Palace Malice was going to be sent over the weekend to Kentucky and treated for the shin problem. According to a release from his owner, Cot Campbell, Palace Malice will do his rehab in Aiken, S.C. and point toward a 3-year-old campaign.

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“I think he’s a very talented colt,” Pletcher said. “He’s a May foal. He’s actually achieved a lot more than you would expect for a son of Curlin out of a route pedigree mare. So you hate to miss any opportunities like this, but at the same time it might prove to be a blessing moving forward.”

While Palace Malice will miss the Hopeful, Pletcher won’t. Pletcher entered three horses in the seven-furlong race, which drew a field of nine and is the highlight of an 11-race closing day program that begins at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

Pletcher entered Shanghai Bobby, Lawn Man, and Overanalyze. Lawn Man, who would be coupled with Shanghai Bobby, and Overanalyze, are both cross-entered in Sunday’s $100,000 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park, but are both expected to run in Saratoga.

Shanghai Bobby, a son of Harlan’s Holiday, won his first two starts including the Track Barron Stakes at Belmont Park on June 27. He was scratched from the Grade 2 Saratoga Special here on Aug. 12 with a temperature.

“This horse has trained well since then,” Pletcher said. “Hopefully, everything goes smoothly the next couple of days. I would expect him to run well. This puts us on a nice schedule now to hopefully run back in the Champagne or what have you. If you’re going to miss one, the Saratoga Special is a decent one to miss.”

Shanghai Bobby drew nicely on the outside and will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik. Lawn Man, who won his debut by 4 1/2 lengths here on July 28 drew post 3 and will be ridden by Javier Castellano. Overanalyze, a 1 1/4-length winner against just four other rivals on Aug. 9, will break from post 7.

Others entered in the Hopeful include the coupled entry of Bern Identity, the Sanford winner, and Vegas No Show, a maiden winner at Delaware Park; Royal Art, a maiden supplemented by D. Wayne Lukas; Fortify, a sharp debut winner for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Majestic Hussar.

Despite being lowered to a Grade 2, the Hopeful is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

My Miss Aurelia to Cotillion

There will be an intriguing match-up in the $1 million Cotillion pitting the “now” 3-year-old filly Questing against the undefeated My Miss Aurelia, last year’s 2-year-old filly champion.

Trainer Steve Asmussen confirmed Friday that My Miss Aurelia would make her next start in the Cotillion, at 1 1/16 miles at Parx on Sept. 22. In that race, she will be facing Questing, the runaway winner of the Alabama and Coaching Club American Oaks at this meet.

“We plan on running her in the Cotillion,” Asmussen said. “The timing of it is good. We feel confident in who she is.”

My Miss Aurelia, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in her last start at 2, came off a 10-month layoff to win the Mandy’s Gold Stakes here on Aug. 8. She appeared to lug in and failed to switch to her proper lead in winning the Mandy’s Gold.

“She’s been super in her breezes since,” Asmussen said.

Grace Hall possible for Cotillion

Grace Hall, last year’s Spinaway winner, is also under consideration for the Cotillion, trainer Tony Dutrow said.

Grace Hall, who finished fifth as the even-money favorite in the Alabama, is training at Delaware Park.

“We are thinking [Cotillion] but we’re watching the horse,” Dutrow said.

Dutrow said the Indiana Oaks is also a consideration.

Grace Hall was found to have had mucus in her lungs following the Alabama.

“Is that an issue? Yes,” Dutrow said. “Is that why she [ran poorly]? I hope so. But outside of that I can’t imagine any other problems. She went into the race great, she come out of the race great.”

◗ Only six long winded fillies and mares signed on for Monday’s Grade 3 Saranac Stakes carded at 1 3/8 miles on the grass. Hit It Rich, who finished third in the Grade 2 New York on June 30, figures to be the heavy favorite against a field that includes Bizzy Caroline, Thislilsoulofmine, Imperial Pippin, Kissable, and Bubbly Jane. Acting Happy and Cash for Clunkers were entered for the main track only.

Kissable appears the main danger to the favorite coming off a four-length victory over yielding ground four weeks ago in the 12 furlong Waya.

◗ Ron the Greek worked four furlongs in 49.95 seconds over the Oklahoma training track on Friday. It was his first move since running second in the Whitney Handicap on Aug. 4. Ron the Greek is being pointed to the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Sept. 29.

Hymn Book, fourth in the Whitney, worked four furlongs in 49.33 seconds over the Oklahoma training track in preparation for the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

– additional reporting by Mike Welsch