Bode's Dream got the jump on her eight rivals and continued on to register a comfortable front-running victory in the $75,000 House Party Stakes, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths in the first of six $75,000 stakes on the Dec. 10 Juvenile Showcase card at Gulfstream Park. Watch Video
The win early on the card was just a hint of things to come for trainer Todd Pletcher, who has earned an unprecedented 13 consecutive training titles at Gulfstream's championship meet and who saddled four juvenile stakes winner Saturday.
Pletcher, a seven-time Eclipse Award winner, could not recall winning four stakes at one track on one day. The four stakes wins came with three colts and the filly. Hall of Fame John Velazquez rode three of the winners.
Pletcher started the day with St. Elias Stable's undefeated Bode's Dream, a Bodemeister filly who won under Velazquez in her first start since taking the Astoria in June at Belmont Park.
"She'd been training well, but it's been a while since she ran. We had her ready off the layoff," Pletcher said. "The one thing she has is exceptional gate speed. She broke and it was pretty straight forward after that.
"She's obviously fast, so she gives us the impression that she's a quality sprinter. The next logical step would be the Old Hat (grade III, Jan. 7)."
Then came Tapwrit, a 2-year-old son of Tapit who was purchased for $1.2 million at the Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga 2015 select yearling sale by Robert LaPenta, Bridlewood Farm, and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Entered for the main track only, the colt drew in after the $75,000 Pulpit Stakes was moved from the turf to the sloppy main track. He opened up a five-length lead down the stretch before winning the mile event by a length under Eddie Castro. Watch Video
"He's suited to two turns but we didn't have too many options. So we took a shot in a main-track-only and it worked out well for him," Pletcher said. "I think everything is in play now. We'll see how he comes out of it. He's seems to be going the right way."
Less than 30 minutes after saddling Tapwrit to victory, Pletcher scored with Calumet Farm's Sonic Mule in the $75,000 Buffalo Man. A son of Distorted Humor bred by WinStar Farm, Sonic Mule won the six-furlong event by 1 3/4 lengths with Velazquez in the irons. Watch Video
"He's a horse with a pedigree that suggests maybe he would do just about anything," Pletcher said. "He's a horse that always seems like he is ready to go and we've picked out different opportunities for him. He was a bit unlucky not to win on the grass in that one race here, but I think he seems to be his best doing this."
Sonic Mule will point toward the $100,000 Hutcheson (gr. III) going six furlongs Jan. 7.
"For now we'll keep him short, and then we will let him stretch his way out if he wants to," Pletcher said.
Pletcher's fourth stakes winner and third in three races came in the $75,000 Smooth Air at a mile with Fact Finding, owned by Tabor, Magnier, Smith, and Stonestreet Stables LLC. The son of The Factor won by seven with Velazquez aboard. Watch Video
"He showed us today that he should be able to handle the stretch-out from a mile," Pletcher said. "The time stacked up favorable for the day. It was a quality effort from him."
Fact Finding, who has won his three starts by a combined 15 1/2 lengths, ran a mile over a sloppy track in 1:36.98.
"He's kind of handled everything we've asked him to do so far. The owners have been very patient letting him find his way along," Pletcher said. "He's very laid-back in the morning. We really weren't sure what we had until we ran him. He's one of those horses that kind of saves himself in the morning. We really didn't know what we had until we ran him."
Non-Pletcher-trained runners to score Saturday in the juvenile stakes were Magic Stables' Lirica, a daughter of Kantharos who won the one-mile Hut Hut Stakes for trainer Antonio Sano, and Hope H. Jones' Party Boat, an Into Mischief filly who took an off-the-turf edition of the mile Wait a While for trainer Graham Motion.