Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Pluck will make his first appearance at Churchill Downs since winning last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) when he faces a full field of fellow 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Commonwealth Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 3. Pluck was foaled and raised at Denali Stud.
Team Valor International's homebred, campaigned in partnership with Tom Simon’s Vinery, has been out of action since April when he was sidelined due to bruised cannon bones. The More than Ready colt posted his biggest win in last year's Juvenile Turf, which he won by one length despite trouble.
Pluck had two months of rest in a paddock in Maryland prior to receiving a clean bill of health and returning to conditioner Graham Motion at Fair Hill Training Center to resume training.
Julien Leaproux is to ride Pluck for the first time and they drew post 3 for the 1 1/16-mile Commonwealth Turf. An overflow field of 13 was entered, leaving three on the also-eligible list. The race is the 11th of 12 scheduled at Churchill to kick off Breeders' Cup week, and is set to go off at 5:43 p.m. EDT.
Pluck, who also won the Summer Stakes (Can-IIIT) at Woodbine last year, comes into the race with a record of 3-0-1 from seven starts and earnings of $727,290.