The 3-year-old son of Unbridled's Song turned heads Dec. 31, when he won a maiden race by 8 3/4 lengths in his second start off a lengthy layoff. Trainer Todd Pletcher said the colt will start next in a stakes race on the Triple Crown trail.
"I think everything is in play," Plethcer said. "Part of the reason we ran here was because it was more of a methodical step and made sense, and by running this weekend it kind of left everything in play."
Battalion Runner, ridden by John Velazquez, edged away from pacesetter Beasley in the stretch to post a 1 1/4-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race. Beasley came in 7 3/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher, Painter's Rags.
The final time was 1:43.37 on a fast track.
"I thought it was a good effort—first time around two turns and second start off of a long layoff," Pletcher said. "I think we got what we wanted. The time seems solid. They kind of got into a steady rhythm all the way around there. It looked like the first two were pretty well clear of the field."
Kentucky-bred Battalion Runner, acquired for $700,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale, was the 1-5 favorite in the seven-horse field.