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  • 23 Apr
    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Opening day at Saratoga didnt get off to a good start for trainer Todd Pletcher. But it certainly ended well.Sweet Loretta, away slowly, took advantage of a hot pace and a good ride by John Velazquez to win the Grade 3, $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes by 4-1/4 lengths on a hot opening afternoon at Saratoga. Fun, a 22-1 shot, rallied from seventh to get second by 1-1/2 lengths over Harlands Thunder.Made Me Shiver, the 8-5 favorite, stumbled at the start and finished fourth. She was followed, in order, by Olive Branch, Summer Sally, Lighting Dove, and Inspired Flight. Platinum Spark scratched.It was the sixth victory in the Schuylerville for Pletcher, equaling the number of wins in this race recorded by Pletchers mentor, D. Wayne Lukas.For Pletcher, the Schuylerville helped ease a rough day. Stradivari, one of Pletchers better 3-year-old males, sustained a career-ending injury, fracturing a leg at the end of a morning workout. As of Friday, veterinarians were optimistic Stradivari could be saved for potential stallion duty.Pletcher, a 12-time leading trainer here, went winless in his four races with five horses. He had a second, two thirds, a fourth, and a fifth.Its nice to have a win in the Schuylerville, Pletcher said. This morning we lost what we projected was going to be one of our Travers starters. Hopefully, hes going to be okay. Its the nature of the business; theres good and bad and you got to try and stay level and keep working at it.Sweet Loretta, a daughter of Tapit, had galloped home a seven-length winner in a maiden race at Monmouth Park.Friday, she was taking on some other smart-looking maiden winners, including Made Me Shiver.Sweet Loretta, under John Velazquez, broke slowly and was sixth early. But the pace was swift as Inspired Flight, gunned to the front by Edgar Prado, set fractions of 21.68 seconds for the quarter-mile and 44.79 for the half, chased by Made Me Shiver, who bobbled at the break, and Olive Branch.Velazquez guided Sweet Loretta to the inside down the backstretch and tipped her into the clear on the turn. After Made Me Shiver took the lead in upper stretch, Sweet Loretta cruised by her inside the eighth pole and widened her advantage through the lane.Sweet Loretta, a $750,000 yearling purchase by Vinnie Violas St. Elias Stable, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.89 and returned $10.80 as the third choice.Velazquez said when his filly broke slow he made it a point to save ground until the middle of the turn.At the three-eighths pole I started easing out and she got to the clear and at the quarter pole she responded right away, Velazquez said. They went fast enough, the track is not speed favoring so it worked out very good. Discount New Balance . The winner Saturday will remain in the elite 10-team field next year. "We talked about wanting to be disciplined and stick with our game plan and good things will come," Draisaitl said, who had two goals for the victors. Cheap New Balance Sneakers . LOUIS -- Lance Lynn was one of the more enthusiastic participants as the St. http://www.wholesalenewbalance.com/ .Y. - Jerome Samson scored once in regulation and again in the shootout as the St. New Balance Shoes Outlet . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half. Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half. Cheap New Balance 574 . Inter president Erick Thohir says in a club statement on Wednesday that Vidic is "one of the worlds best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree, and charisma will be an asset. ELMONT, N.Y. -- Baseball isnt the only game of inches.Fans of the horse Syndergaard -- including the New York Mets pitcher for whom he was named and who was in attendance Saturday at Belmont Park -- were reminded of that as Practical Joke, after a furlong battle, got his nose down on the wire in front of Syndergaard to win the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne.The victory was one of three graded stakes that trainer Chad Brown won on Saturdays card at Belmont. Practical Joke earned an automatic berth into the $2 million Breeders Cup Juvenile on Nov. 5 at Santa Anita but he is not Breeders Cup nominated and his connections - owner Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence - would have to pay a $100,000 nomination fee. After that, his shipping expenses would be picked up by the Breeders Cup through the Win and Youre In program.Practical Joke overcame a slow start as, breaking from the rail, he took a left-hand turn and nearly went into the opening between the chute and the main track. Jockey Joel Rosario straightened him out, saved all the ground he could for more than six furlongs before tipping his horse off the rail turning for home.Syndergaard, under John Velazquez, had set torrid fractions of 22.74 seconds for the quarter-mile, 44.63 for the half, and 1:08.76 for six furlongs while being hounded by Big Gray Rocket.Syndergaard disposed of Big Gray Rocket at the three-sixteenth pole but was soon confronted by Practical Joke. The pair raced in lockstep through the final furlong and it was going to come down to a head bob, with this one going to Practical Joke.He got a beautiful pace setup but he had a terrible break as well, said Brown, who trains Practical Joke for Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence. He showed how ggood a horse he is.dddddddddddd The runner-up is a very good horse as well. He deserves a lot of credit for fighting as well as he did. It was a close bob at the end but Im glad we got it.It was 6-1/2 lengths back to Favorable Outcome - also trained by Brown. He was followed, in order, by Big Gray Rocket, Thirst for Victory, and Lookin At Blessing.Practical Joke, who added the Champagne to his narrow victory in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga, covered the mile in 1:34.68 and returned $7.90 to win.Rosario, who was riding Practical Joke for the first time, said he could sense the horse wanted to do something mischievous coming out of the gate. He said the break cost him a few lengths but he thought he would benefit from an anticipated quick pace.I was going to be stalking it looked like because it looked like on paper there was a lot of speed, Rosario said. I was planning to take my time with him and keep coming with that long run he has.There was a bit more buzz surrounding the Champagne as the presence of Syndergaard, the pitcher, drew a lot of interest from fans who chanted No-ah, No-ah when they saw him in the paddock.Syndergaard, sipping a bottle of Corona, watched the race from the box seats and thought the horse had won, raising his hands in victory.He was not nearly as frustrated, however, as Todd Pletcher, the colts trainer.It was just unfortunate Mike never gave us a breather, said Pletcher, referring to Mike Smith, the rider of Big Gray Rocket. It set up well for somebody to come from off the pace. I thought the horse ran very courageously. Frustrating loss. ' ' '