08/03/2011 5:34PM

Saratoga: Ibboyee up in time to win Morrissey

Tom Keyser
Ibboyee, with John Velazquez riding, wins the John Morrissey by a neck over Be Bullish.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Ibboyee, said he told Mike Repole, the owner of Be Bullish, that his dream scenario for Wednesday's $75,000 John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga was that his horse would nail Repole's horse on the wire.

Pletcher's dream - and Repole's nightmare - came true when Ibboyee, under John Velazquez, rallied from fourth in the final furlong to nail Be Bullish by a neck in the final stride. It was 1 1/4 lengths back to Six Flings in third.

It was the third straight year that a horse owned by Repole finished second in the Morrissey for New York-bred sprinters. Driven by Success finished second in 2009 and 2010.

Pletcher has most of Repole's best horses, including Uncle Mo, last year's 2-year-old champion, Stay Thirsty, the Jim Dandy winner, and Overdriven, among the leading 2-year-olds in training.

"It was something he and I kidded around about all week," Pletcher said. "I told him my dream scenario was to nail him on the wire. That was a pretty nasty beat. I feel a little bit bad for him. Just a little bit."

"It's my worst nightmare," a downtrodden Repole said when reached by phone in New England, where he watched the race on television. "You couldn't make that [stuff] up. I'm not going to call him for at least three weeks. I'm considering moving Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty and Overdriven to other trainers. This will be the worst win of his life. This win will cost him $5 million."

While Repole, of course, was kidding, he couldn't believe that he finished second in this race for a third straight year.

Repole claimed Be Bullish for $75,000 in his most recent start and turned him over to trainer George Weaver. Be Bullish looked like the main speed in the Morrissey, but stumbled badly at the start under Javier Castellano and had to stalk Mineswept through a quarter-mile in 22.87 seconds and a half-mile in 46.06.

Be Bullish, a slight 6-5 favorite over Ibboyee, came up alongside Mineswept at the five-sixteenths pole and opened up a clear advantage in midstretch and looked home free at the sixteenth pole. But Ibboyee, who was five lengths out of it at the eighth pole, kicked into high gear and got up at the wire.

Ibboyee, a 4-year-old son of Medallist owned by Anita and Stuart Sobotnik's Anstu Stables, covered the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.00 and returned $4.70 as the second choice.

"He's a really cool horse. He shows up and tries hard every time," Pletcher said. "To me, he's a classic overachiever. What he lacks in natural ability, he gives back 100 times in heart. He's one of my favorites just because he comes over here and shows up every time and tries hard."