Overanalyze, another in trainer Todd Pletcher's seemingly endless arsenal of classic prospects, will have is sophomore unveiling in Saturday's Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham at Aqueduct. The 1 1/16-mile inner dirt test attracted a dozen entries, and if all start Overanalyze will have to overcome the widest post as champion Hansen did in winning the 2012 Gotham.
In the shadow last season of stablemate Shanghai Bobby, who was named the champion juvenile, Overanalyze still performed ably in a quartet of stakes appearances. A distant fourth to Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 2 Hopeful, the Dixie Union colt rebounded to take the Grade 2 Futurity by more than three lengths.
Kept out of the Breeders' Cup due to owner Mike Repole's unwillingness to race the colt without Lasix, Overanalyze threw in a dud in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs, finishing third by eight lengths. The bay shook off that loss by turning in one of the swiftest and gutsiest efforts by a two-year-old during the season. Challenged in the stretch by the highly-regarded Normandy Invasion in the Grade 2 Remsen over nine furlongs, Overanalyze repelled what appeared to be a winning bid from that rival to claim the victory by a nose.
The opposition is led by Vyjack, who enters the Gotham undefeated from three starts. A debut winner over the Big A's main track in November, the Rudy Rodriguez trainee later claimed the December 9 Traskwood by 5 3/4 lengths, and then fought back in the stretch to deny the returning Siete de Oros by a head in the Grade 2 Jerome in early January.
Vyjack passed on the next local classic prep, the Grade 3 Withers on February 2, where Siete de Oros tired to third after setting the pace. Falling a head short of the Withers winner's circle was Escapefromreality, a Read the Footnotes gelding who was making his open company and stakes debut. Withers also-rans Amerigo Vespucci and the maiden Champion Boy are also in the Gotham lineup.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will saddle three in the Gotham, all of whom are late-developing colts exiting maiden victories. The Darley-owned entry of Transparent and Now and Then are by superstar stallions Bernardini and Tiznow, respectively, while the Shadwell-owned Elnaawi is a son of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense.
"What we were thinking about is they all have talent," McLaughlin said. "They're all colts who we think can be graded stakes winners. Elnaawi won easily last time out. It's a big step up, but we think he's a nice horse. It would be nice to get points and have a chance to run in the Derby. With the other two, we're not sure what we're going to do, but, bottom line, they're all talented colts with a future."
Others who might garner some attention are Ore Pass, a California-bred colt who took the seven-furlong Frank Whiteley Jr. at Laurel last time, and Sky Captain, a solid allowance runner-up at Gulfstream going nine furlongs in his most recent outing.