08/24/2011 4:55PM

Saratoga: Pletcher liking Repole's rabbit

Tom Keyser
Ibboyee (7), under John Velazquez, edges Be Bullish in the John Morrissey Stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Three weeks ago, trainer Todd Pletcher got to have a little fun – and stakes success – at the expense one of his primary owners, Mike Repole, when Ibboyee ran down Be Bullish to win the $75,000 John Morrissey Stakes in the final stride at Saratoga.

While owned by Repole – who has the majority of his stock with Pletcher – Be Bullish is trained by George Weaver. Ibboyee is owned by longtime Pletcher clients Anita and Stuart Subotnick.

Friday, Ibboyee and Be Bullish meet again in the $75,000 Easy n Dirty Stakes for New York-breds here at seven furlongs. But this time, there is a twist to the dynamic of the relationship between Pletcher and Repole. Driven by Success, owned by Repole and trained by Pletcher, makes his first start in six months in the Easy n Dirty and will likely be part of a lively pace. Driven by Success will be coupled with Be Bullish, while Ibboyee runs as a separate betting interest.

“I’ll have an entry with co-trainers. I’ll be rooting for Be Bullish and George Weaver a lot more than Driven by Success and Todd Pletcher,” Repole said.

Pletcher has no problem with Driven by Success being in the field, because the faster the pace the better it sets up for Ibboyee.

“I told Mike it was nice of him to put a rabbit in to hook up with Be Bullish so that they can set it up for Ibboyee,” Pletcher said. “I thought it was sporting of him.”

Driven by Success won a similar race as this last August by 6 3/4 lengths here and is 3 for 6 at Saratoga. He has not been out since Feb. 21 when he finished fifth in the Grade 2 General George at Laurel Park.

Be Bullish was a horse Repole claimed for $75,000 at Belmont in June but turned over to Weaver. He looked like the lone speed in the Morrissey, but stumbled at the start and had to work harder than anticipated to make the lead. Despite Be Bullish gaining a clear advantage in midstretch Ibboyee ran him down.

Repole doesn’t see Be Bullish having to be in front, however. He believes Driven by Success will hook up with the speedy Smokin Hero and Be Bullish potentially getting a garden trip.

“Be Bullish got a perfect post. He will sit third and I think I have two opportunities because I think ‘Driven’ can go wire to wire or Be Bullish can close the gap on both of them. Then I’ll be looking over my shoulder, and so will Javier [Castellano] for Ibboyee.”

Shrewd One would be a contender in this field if he runs. He is also entered in a first-level open-company allowance race on Saturday.