07/31/2012 1:21PM

Saratoga: Isn't He Perfect right back, facing Pletcher trio

Barbara D. Livingston
Isn't He Perfect has done well racing on short rest.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Isn’t He Perfect just can’t wait to get on the road again.

After running one of the fastest 1 1/8-mile races ever at Penn National in a losing cause Saturday night, the Aqueduct-based Isn’t He Perfect heads up the Northway to run in Thursday’s $100,000 Birdstone Stakes, where he will face the Todd Pletcher-trained trio of Alma d’Oro, Colizeo, and San Pablo; 2010 Ohio and Oklahoma Derby winner Pleasant Prince; and Hello Lover, third in the recent Greenwood Cup for Butch Reid.

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The Birdstone, once around the 1 1/8-mile main track, is the sixth of 11 races, and the opening leg of the pick six. Post time is 3:49 p.m. Eastern.

Just a few days ago, Isn’t He Perfect set the early pace in the Mountainview Handicap but was overtaken by Toby’s Corner, who ran nine furlongs in 1:49.15 to eclipse Collection Agent’s 25-year-old track record of 1:49.80.

“I was happy with his race the other night,” said trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. “I’m going to run him back.”

Isn’t He Perfect – who gained notoriety for causing the chain reaction that wiped out Animal Kingdom at the start of the 2011 Belmont Stakes – has won or placed in all five starts since being purchased and turned over to Dutrow, including races at the Big A on April 13 and 15, and at Belmont May 23 and 27.

“He likes running back quick – he’s run well each time and been very versatile,” said Dutrow, referring to a placing to Inherit the Gold at 1 1/8 miles, and a seven-furlong win on a wet track.

Dutrow also entered Gallant Fields, a $50,000 claim out of Saturday’s fifth race, but that gelding will likely be scratched. “If it does come up sloppy and soupy, that’s probably the only way he’s going to run,” he said. “But I do have a feeling we’re going to get him straightened out.”

All three of Pletcher’s horses are stakes winners capable of posting triple-digit Beyers and are relatively fresh.

San Pablo, the best of the three, beat Isn’t He Perfect three times last winter. He is second back from a layoff after a fourth in the Monmouth Cup behind his Whitney-bound stablemate Rule.

Pleasant Prince, who finished off the board behind Cease last Wednesday in his seasonal debut, wheels back off a $75,000 claim by Bruce Brown.