A partnership led by Vinery Stud has secured a major share in the brilliant American juvenile Pluck. A son of the stud’s multiple champion sire More Than Ready, Pluck established himself as one of the most exciting juveniles of 2011 with his last to first performance in the Breeders Cup Juvenile (Turf) early November.
Trained by More Than Ready’s trainer; Todd Pletcher, Pluck began his race career with a third on a muddy Belmont Park dirt track back in June. Switched to the turf he returned the following month to take a 1200m juvenile event by 1 ¼ lengths. Went on to run in the Summer Stakes Group 3 at Woodbine, driving to a one length victory and booking his ticket to the Breeders Cup.
“We knew he had an explosive turn of foot” Pletcher said of the colt. “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 before the Breeders Cup was an improvement, but you could still see that when he made the lead he waited a little bit.”
In the $900,000 Breeders Cup Juvenile Pluck displayed all his talent in spectacular style. Jumping from the widest barrier he stumbled at the break and thus lagged at the back of the pack, jockey Garrett Gomez angled him over closer to the fence to save ground. He averted a potential disaster when Rough Sailing, racing a couple of lengths in front of him in a slightly wider path, lost his footing entering the first turn, slipped, and fell hard unseating the jockey. Pluck veared sharply left narrowly missing the fallen jockey, as a result leaving him 10 lengths off the leaders.
As they straightened, Pluck began to weave his way through the field, surging to the lead to win the Breeders Cup Juvenile going away. The turn of foot Pluck showed in the final stages of the race prompted the race caller to declare “Here comes Pluck out of the clouds looking like he had just jumped in at the quarter pole…and Pluck from last to first winning it in a canter!”.
Pletcher praised his black colt post race. “He was doing a lot of things on natural talent before this, but today he really polished off the race at the end”.
Bred in Kentucky, Pluck is out of South African stakes winner Secret Heart, a daughter of successful Sadler’s Wells stallion Fort Wood. Secret Heart was multiple Group 1 placed and is a half-sister to South African champion Promisefromyheart. Pluck and stable mate More Than Real made it a unique Breeders Cup double this year at Churchill Downs for their sire, elevating More Than Ready to the top of the USA 2yo Sires title for 2010.
The plan going forward for Pluck is to be aimed at either the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Gr1) or the French Two Thousand Guineas (Gr1) in the Spring then back to USA for the Breeders Cup in the Autumn.
“It is great to be involved with such a quality international racehorse with an exciting career ahead of him, commented Vinery Stud’s general manager Peter Orton; knowing the ability and preference the More Than Ready stock have to turf we jumped at the chance to firstly be involved with this colt’s racing career and secondly to secure ourselves a unique stallion prospect if all was to go well. More Than Ready sired the winners of both the colts and the filly’s juvenile Breeders Cup races on turf last month affording him the results he so deserved and in doing so, elevating his international profile as he forges his way to becoming one of the most significant sires worldwide”.