Gotham S. (G3) hero STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini), Tom Fool H. (G3) victor CALIBRACHOA (Southern Image) and Fred "Cappy" Capossela S. winner SENSATIONAL SLAM (Grand Slam) all came out of Saturday's stakes wins in great shape, assistant Jonathan Thomas reported from trainer Todd Pletcher's barn.
"They look great, they ate their dinners up, and their energy level is good," Thomas said Sunday morning at Belmont Park, where the trio was relaxing after having taken three of the four stakes Saturday at Aqueduct. "It was just one of those rare days when everything went according to plan. We were confident in our horses, but everything fell into place. At the end of the day, you're pinching yourself."
The Gotham was the first race as a three-year-old for Stay Thirsty, who like early Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie), is owned by Mike Repole. Now 2-2-0 from five starts, the dark bay colt has $200,000 in graded earnings, $150,000 for the Gotham and $50,000 from his runner-up finish in the Hopeful S. (G1) as a juvenile. (Photo Courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese)
"As a fan of racing, to me, coming off a huge layoff, breaking poorly, going wide on the first turn, it was an impressive effort," Thomas said. "He ran like a horse asking for distance."
Stay Thirsty will return to Pletcher's barn at Palm Meadows Training Center, most likely on Tuesday, to prepare for his next start in either the April 3 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park or the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park on April 16.
Uncle Mo, who is scheduled to make his 2011 debut on Saturday in the Timely Writer overnight stakes at Gulfstream, will head to the Wood Memorial (G1) on April 9 at Aqueduct following his seasonal bow.
Both Calibrachoa and Sensational Slam will remain in New York to work toward their next starts on Wood Memorial Day in the Carter H. (G1) and Bay Shore S. (G3), respectively, Thomas explained.
Calibrachoa, who was claimed for $40,000 by Pletcher for Repole last November 18, earned his third straight stakes win over the Big A's inner track. The four-year-old dark bay previously captured the Gravesend S. on December 18 and the Toboggan S. (G3) on January 22.
The three-year-old Sensational Slam, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, also earned his third stakes win in the "Cappy" Capossela, having taken the Vandal S. and Clarendon S., both at Woodbine, as a two-year-old. Now sporting a 4-3-0-0 lifetime mark, the chestnut's only career loss came when he tried the turf in the With Anticipation S. (G3) last September.