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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (9/28/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

Pletcher’s Arrow Aimed at Gold Cup Bulls-Eye

Trainer Looks to Continue His Highly Successful Run at Hawthorne

Trainer Todd Pletcher has always been a major player in graded stakes events held at Hawthorne Race Course. This decade alone, Pletcher has bagged two Grade II Illinois Derbies (2001 with Distilled and 2004 with Pollard’s Vision), a Grade III National Jockey Club Handicap (2005 with Pollard’s Vision) and back-to-back runnings of the Grade III Sixty Sails (2005 with Isola Piu Bella and 2006 with Fleet Indian).

Surprisingly, Pletcher has never run a horse in the Gold Cup, but that will change on Saturday when he sends the 4-year-old A. P. Indy colt A. P. Arrow to the post for the 70th running of Hawthorne’s signature event.

“For some reason we’ve had a lot of luck at Hawthorne,” Pletcher said. “That success gives us added confidence when we enter there. We’ve never run in the Gold Cup, but we’re happy to give it a try with this horse.”

As a 3-year-old, A. P. Arrow was brimming with potential, but he only managed to get a maiden victory and a first-level allowance score out of a nine-race campaign. He took failed cracks at the Grade I Santa Anita Derby (ninth) and the Grade I Belmont Stakes (fifth) early in the year, but he did run a huge race to finish second in the Grade II Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in the fall.

Following off-season knee surgery, A. P. Arrow was turned over to Pletcher in June. He won his only start this season, a second-level allowance race over nine furlongs at Saratoga.

Pletcher nominated five horses to the Gold Cup, but he planned on running A. P. Arrow all along.

“Based on his breeding and what he’s shown so far, this is definitely a route horse,” Pletcher said. “The further he goes, the better he should be. Ten furlongs over that track should suit him. The spacing between his starts is perfect, and he’s trained great since that allowance win.”

Pletcher realizes that taking on Grade II company over ten furlongs in just the second start of his campaign will provide a tough test for A. P. Arrow, but he is also quite confident that the horse will run a very big race.

“It would be a good race to win and it will give us a line on where he fits in the handicap division,” Pletcher said.

For a list of nominations and past performances for the Gold Cup, Carey and Indian Maid, go to www.hawthorneracecourse.com/horsemen_tb/stakes.php.

The 2006 fall Thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne Race Course runs September 15 through December 31 with live racing five days per week: Wednesday through Sunday (except Nov. 23). The dark days are Monday and Tuesday (except Oct. 9). Post time on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday is 1:10 p.m. Friday post time through November 17 is 3 p.m., at which time it will revert back to 1:10 p.m. for the remainder of the meet.

Hawthorne’s spring 2006 Standardbred meet ran May 6 through June 17.

Hawthorne’s spring 2006 Thoroughbred meet ran February 24 through May 2.

For more information visit www.hawthorneracecourse.com.

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