07/17/2012 2:56PM

Saratoga: Pletcher sends Caixa Eletronica, Can’t Explain in opening-day stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Caixa Eletronica trains at Saratoga on Tuesday in preparation for the James Marvin Stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Coming off what he called “a slow” Belmont meet in which he won just 14 races, trainer Todd Pletcher hopes to get off to a fast start at Saratoga, where he has runners in seven of the 10 races on Friday’s opening-day card.

Among Pletcher’s runners are Caixa Eletronica in the Grade 3, $100,000 James Marvin Stakes for male sprinters, and Can’t Explain in the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes for juvenile fillies.

Pletcher also has horses entered in each division of a 2-year-old filly maiden race, both of which filled with eight-horse fields plus one also-eligible. The New York Racing Association is experimenting at this meet by limiting to eight the number of starters in dirt sprints for 2-year-old maidens.

Pletcher is an eight-time leading trainer at Saratoga, including last year when he won a single-meet record 38 races.

Two of those wins came with Caixa Eletronica, a 7-year-old horse owned by Mike Repole. After he finished sixth to Jackson Bend in last year’s James Marvin – Jackson Bend is his chief rival on Friday – Caixa Eletronica won a six-furlong starter handicap carrying 127 pounds. He came back 11 days later to win a 1 1/8-mile starter handicap carrying 131 pounds.

This year, Caixa Eletronica won the $1 million Charles Town Classic at 1 1/8 miles. Most recently, he came with a furious late rally to win the Grade 2 True North Handicap, a six-furlong race, by three-quarters of a length over Justin Philip. He was scratched from the Suburban in favor of Stay Thirsty.

“He’s the kind of horse if things go well he could run more than twice up here,” Pletcher said Tuesday. “He seems to thrive on action. Part of the reason why we didn’t run him was to have him fresh for this meet. By running him on opening day we might get a few opportunities.”

Pletcher said races such as the Whitney on Aug. 4 or the Vanderbilt on Aug. 5 and the Forego on Sept. 1 were possible spots for Caixa Eletronica.

Caixa Eletronica, who drew the rail, is the co-highweight at 123 pounds under Javier Castellano on Friday. Jackson Bend, who won this race and the Grade 1 Forego here last year, is also weighted at 123 and will break from the outside post under Rosie Napravnik.

There appears to be ample speed in the field with Pacific Ocean, Crossbow, and Zero Rate Policy. Rounding out the field are Scotus and Golddigger’s Boy.

One race after the James Marvin, Pletcher will saddle Can’t Explain against six debut winners in the Schuylerville at six furlongs.

Can’t Explain, a New Jersey-bred daughter of Not for Love, finished second to Fully Living in a May 31 maiden race at Belmont before returning to win her maiden by 4 1/2 lengths on June 20.

“I thought she moved forward,” said Pletcher, who has won this race four times, including last year with Georgie’s Angel.

“I like the way she physically and mentally handled the two races; seems like she’s gotten a little more professional in the mornings around the gate.”

Baby J won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race by a half-length on June 28 and was promptly purchased by Paul Pompa and turned over to Richard Dutrow Jr.

Can’t Explain, Baby J, Fully Living, Mr. Hall’s Opus, and Sweet Shirley Mae are all eligible for a $100,000 bonus that NYRA instituted this year for any 2-year-old maiden winner at Belmont who wins a graded stakes the remainder of the year at a NYRA track.

So Many Ways, a debut winner at Parx, and Brown Eyes Blue, complete the field.

The forecast for opening day from weather.com calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 82 degrees and only a 10 percent chance of rain.