Todd A. Pletcher Racing Stables, Inc.

World of Trouble, Cherry Lodge Take Off-Turf Sprints


World of Trouble didn't get his rematch with champion Stormy Liberal when the $150,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes was taken off the grass because of soggy conditions Jan. 26, but he put on an impressive performance nonetheless.

Second choice Recruiting Ready pressed the 4-year-old Kantharos  colt for as long as he could but couldn't keep up. World of Trouble didn't break perfectly in the scratch-shortened field of five but still found his way to the front under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., set fractions of :22.18 and :44.37 on the sloppy (sealed) main track, and easily kicked away to win under wraps.

The Jason Servis trainee finished the five furlongs in :56.44, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Recruiting Ready, who came in 3 3/4 lengths clear of Belle Tapisserie in third.

After the race, Servis said World of Trouble presented some difficulties before he got out to the track but found a way to persevere.

"We couldn't get bandages on him behind," Servis said. "I mean, the whole thing coming to the race, I really wasn't thrilled about. And he was just doing OK. So getting it done, man, was gratifying. He ran on no toe grabs. I was happy with the mud, but he's not an easy horse to deal with. We had a hard time getting the bridle on him and the back bandages."

It was the second straight sloppy stakes win for World of Trouble, who races for Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Bethlehem Stables. He took the Dec. 15 FTBOA Marion County Florida Sire Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and prior to that won two turf sprint stakes in New York before missing by a neck to Stormy Liberal in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1T). Stormy Liberal was scratched early Saturday along with Oak Bluffs and Pay Any Price when Gulfstream Park management moved the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint off the grass course.

Bred in Florida by Darsan out of the Valid Expectations mare Meets Expectations, World of Trouble is a half brother to Nieve Morena, a grade 3 winner in the Dominican Republic, and to stakes winner Money Or Love. His dam produced a filly by The Big Beast  in 2018. World of Trouble, a private purchase by his current connections, now has six wins from 10 starts and $671,400 in earnings.

Also on the Saturday card, Gainesway Stable's Cherry Lodge took an off-turf edition of the $150,000 Ladies' Turf Sprint Stakes in frontrunning fashion. The Todd Pletcher-trained Bernardini  mare earned her first stakes win by 1 3/4 lengths when she hit the wire in :57.10 for five furlongs under jockey Jose Ortiz.

"To be honest, I thought our chances improved when it was taken off the turf," Pletcher said. "She'd been training well on dirt. I actually gave some thought about running her in the Hurricane Bertie based on the strength of her last dirt breeze, but it seemed like it was coming up to be such a tough race, we opted to go in here.

"She got away alertly, and the track has been playing well to speed. Our strategy was pretty straightforward: Try to make the lead. She responded gamely."

Backing up in distance also aided Cherry Lodge, who faded to 10th in Gulfstream's $100,000 My Charmer Stakes (G3T) going a mile on turf Dec. 15 in her last start. Early in her career, she was third in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) on dirt at Saratoga Race Course. Her record now stands at 4-1-2 from 10 starts, with earnings of $322,422.

Bred in Kentucky by Mrs. William L. Currin out of the Carson City mare Wilshewed, Cherry Lodge is a half sister to grade 1 winner Stormello and grade 2 winner My Best Brother, and a full sister to grade 3 winner Gala Award. Her dam produced a Medaglia d'Oro  filly in 2018. She was a $450,000 purchase by Gainesway from Valkyre Stud's consignment to the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

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