Champion Australian 2yo Sire, More Than Ready achieved a rare double when siring the winners of both divisions of the rich Breeders Cup Juvenile races at Churchill Downs over the weekend.
The successive Breeder’s Cup victories put More Than Ready clear at the top of the 2yo Sire’s Table in the U.S, a position the Vinery stallion already holds in Australia courtesy of John O’Shea’s outstanding early 2yo Elite Falls.
Following More Than Real’s dominant win in the fillies division of the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile on Day 1, More Than Ready was represented by the striking colt, Pluck in the male division. Despite considerable obstacles, not the least being the injury and fall of the ill-fated Rough Sailing on the first turn, Pluck did not disappoint coming from last on the turn to win the $1,000,000 turf feature decisively.
Jumping from the widest barrier in the 12 horse field, Pluck stumbled as the gates opened and was trailing the field when he had to check to avoid the injured Rough Sailing which fell in front of him.
Once Pluck regained his stride and momentum around the back, jockey Garrett Gomez launched a devastating sprint off the home turn and the More Than Ready colt circled the entire field to race clear and record an authoritative victory.
“He did everything really good. I mean, he overcame a lot,” Gomez told Bloodhorse.com. “He stumbled to his nose leaving the gate. The horse (Rough Sailing) fell in front of him going to the first turn. He had to avoid that. I pretty much went to Plan C and just tried to let him gallop along and tried to come up with some kind of run. He actually turned in a brilliant performance.”
It was a remarkable Breeders Cup meeting for More Than Ready and his former trainer, Todd Pletcher who saddled up both of his former star’s 2yo winner’s. It was the first start in seven weeks for both More Than Real and Pluck who’d been freshened by Pletcher since racing at Woodbine on September 13.
“The one thing that I think was key for these two horses was the spacing was very good,” Pletcher said. “We had extra time. They spent about a month here. … This colt’s shown a lot of natural ability from one day one. He’s been a little bit of a playful colt. You could see by the way he finished today; this was the first time he really leveled off and set sail through the lane and put it all together.”
Pluck, who is out of the Fort Wood mare Secret Heart (S.Af), entered the race off a similar last to first victory in the Sept. 18 Summer Stakes Gr.3T at Woodbine, whilst More Than Real finished second on the same card in the Natalma Stakes Gr.2T.
Pluck took his record to 3 wins and a placing from just five starts and upped his earnings to $725,440 with the future looking very bright for the talented More Than Ready colt.
“He stumbled badly at the start and had to maneuver (around) a fallen rider,” Pletcher said. “At that point, you’re just kind of hoping you can regroup and hit the board. He really exploded down the lane.
“We knew he had an explosive turn of foot. To me, he’s been a colt that has been very talented but he’s still learning. It was a matter of putting it all together and focusing on running straight. His last start was an improvement but you could still see that when he made the lead, he waited a little bit. He was doing a lot of things on natural talent but today, he really polished off the race at the end.”
More Than Real’s victory in the fillies division of the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile took the Vinery Stallion’s ever growing tally of Stakes winners to 77 worldwide.
More Than Ready’s dominance of the Breeder’s Cup juvenile turf races comes as no surprise to Australian breeders with the shuttle sire having sired two of the last three Golden Slipper winners and producing More Strawberries to finish third this yeer’s event.
More Than Ready’s dominance of Australian 2yo racing looks set to continue as the stallion currently leads the 2yo Sires Table courtesy of the dashing win of Elite Falls in the $250,000 Inglis Banner.