Pletcher Fillies Impressive at Gulfstream
Friday, January 12, 2024
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher made back-to-back visits to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle following impressive victories by a pair of talented 3-year-old fillies on Thursday’s program.

    Whisper Hill Farm’s Leslie’s Rose ($2.40) remained undefeated in two starts after winning Race 6, a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies. The Pletcher-trained daughter of Into Mischief, who graduated by 9 ½ lengths in a 6 ½-furlong maiden race at Aqueduct Nov. 19, raced outside Gun Song into the stretch before edging away to win by a length over the stubborn pacesetter.

    Irad Ortiz Jr. rode Leslie’s Rose, who ran seven-furlongs in 1:23.36. Gun Rose was 7 ¾ lengths clear of third-place finisher Sing a Little Song.

    “She was very impressive in her debut, and she’s trained well since then,” Pletcher said. “She has natural speed, but I think she’ll run further. I couldn’t be more pleased with her. That’s a pretty nice filly that got beat. It looked like they had good separation.” Pletcher said a yet-to-be-determined stakes appearance was likely for her next start.

    One race earlier on Thursday’s card, Pletcher-trained Pretty Liam ($9.80) graduated by 3 ¾ lengths in her career debut in a five-furlong maiden special weight race for 3-year-old fillies that was transferred from turf to Tapeta. The daughter of Liam’s Map saved ground behind the early pace before Ortiz eased her off the rail at the top of the stretch, where she caught pacesetter Beanpot and drew away to victory.

    “I thought she ran really well, too. I didn’t know what to expect on the synthetic,” Pletcher said. “She’s a half to a multiple-stakes winner on turf, so we kind of thought that was a logical place to get started. When it came off, we were confident to run her, and it worked out.”

    St. Elias Stable’s Pretty Liam, who ran five furlongs on Tapeta in :55.37 seconds, is a half-sister to Danse Macabre, a multiple stakes-winner with earnings just shy of $1 million. Kelsey Danner-trained Danse Macabre won the Gr. III Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream last season. Pletcher said Pretty Liam is likely to return in a turf allowance.
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