Todd Pletcher and Starlight Racing Win Again
In their second start in two Kentucky Derby preps at Gulfstream Park the powerful owner trainer combination remained perfect behind an impressive 6 3/4 length victory for Thunder Moccasin. The win compliments Algorithms score in the G3 Holy Bull and keeps the duo running hot along the derby trail inside of the sunshine state.
After an early morning scratch by Ever So Lucky it brought the field down to five and eliminated the main competition. Thunder Moccasin then took over as the 1-5 favorite and his performance was right on par. Under the veteran guidance of Jockey John Velazquez, Thunder Moccasin was placed in perfect stalking position behind Il Villano. After opening fractions 23.34 and 46.89 Thunder Moccasin made his move on the pace setter near the quarter pole and put the field away in dominating fashion.
G2 Hutcheson Stakes | Purse $150,000 | 7 Furlongs | Dirt | Track: Good, Time: 1:24.00
3. Thunder Moccasin $2.40 $2.20 $2.10
5. Il Villano $3.40 $2.20
4. Quick Wit $2.20
$2 Exacta $6.40 $2 Trifecta $7.10 $2 Superfecta $17.10
Also Ran (in order of finish) 2. Wildcat Creek, 1. Tarpy’s Goal. Equibase Chart
The Hutcheson makes it 2 wins in 2 lifetime starts, his first a 6 Furlong score by 2 1/2 lengths on Dec 24th. In his graded stakes debut the win moves him onto the Kentucky Derby Graded Stakes Earnings board with $90,000 and sets him up to be followed closely along the derby trail. It is likely that Thunder Moccasin will return to Gulfstream Park on March 10 for the G2 Swale Stakes, the final sprint on the 2012 Derby Prep schedule.
Thunder Moccasin is a talented young colt that handled his graded stakes debut against more seasoned competition perfectly. His trail to the Kentucky Derby will include more pressing challenges than he faced in the Hutcheson Stakes but it will be exciting to watch.
Accomplishments and achievements to note on the day. Earlier in the racing card Todd Pletcher reached a milestone with his 3,000th career victory. The Hutcheson Stakes win was his 7th and Jockey John Velazquez’s 6th. Congratulations to Thunder Moccasin and your connections, we look forward to seeing you again on the derby trail.
Written by: Little Brink