‘She Looks Terrific’: Nest Pleases Pletcher With Saturday Breeze Toward Alabama – Horse Racing News


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Nest, outside, works Saturday at Saratoga in company with stablemate Up to the Mark

Dual Grade 1 winner Nest, previously under consideration or the Runhappy Travers (G1), breezed Saturday at Saratoga in preparation or the $600,000 Alabama on August 20, completing a half-mile in :50.60 in company with debut maiden winner Up to the Mark [:50.02].

“I thought she did very well. [She] went a little bit easy the first part and picked it up at the finish and galloped out really well,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “She seems to be holding her form. We did talk about it [the Travers], but we just felt like as long as she was ready to run back in the Alabama, a mile and a quarter was perfect for her. We felt like it was too good of a spot to pass up.”

Nest was last seen posting a sublime 12 1/4-length triumph in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) on July 23, making a grand return for the first time since a game runner-up finish behind stablemate Mo Donegal in the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 11.

Pletcher said Nest continues to train forwardly following her CCA Oaks coup.

“You always worry about coming back off a big win. It seemed like she did it easily, but it was still a big effort. Just like after the Belmont, every indication since then is she’s in good shape,” Pletcher said. “She looks terrific and she’s doing all the things you want to see them do in between races. We’re really happy with her.”

Aside from his star sophomores, Pletcher also sent out reigning champion 3-year-old illy Malathaat to breeze in company with Grade 2 Suburban winner Dynamic One on Friday. The pair posted a bullet five-eighths in 1:01.12 over the main track.

“Awesome. I was really pleased with both of them,” Pletcher said. “It was one of the better breezes I’ve seen from Dynamic One, so they’re doing good.”

Malathaat, winner of last year’s Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, suffered a disappointing loss to Clairiere in the Grade 2 Shuvee last out on July 24, finishing second when sporting blinkers for the first time.

Pletcher said he does not believe the blinkers were to blame for the dull outing and added he will keep them on for her likely next outing in the Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign on the August 27 Travers undercard.

“We’ll go in the Personal Ensign if she comes back and breezes good again this weekend,” Pletcher said. “We’ll leave the blinkers on. I really felt like she wasn’t herself that day. She seemed to get hot and irritated in the paddock, which is unlike her. She was awfully quiet. Credit to the winner, she ran a great race, but we didn’t feel like that was Malathaat at her best.”

Pletcher noted Dynamic One is still on target for the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 3, along with Keepmeinmind, Americanrevolution, and Untreated.

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