Edited Press Release
Stonestreet Stables’ Grade 1-winning Rachel’s Valentina, second in the Ashland (G1) on April 9 at Keeneland, turned in her first work since that race on Thursday before 7 a.m. (ET), covering four furlongs in :48.60.
The Bernardini filly, whose dam is Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, is expected to make her next start in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6 at Churchill Downs.
Clockers caught Rachel’s Valentina, who worked in company with Gimlet, in fractions of :12.40, :24.80 and :48.60, with a gallop out in 1:00.60 and 1:13.60. The sophomore miss was ridden by exercise rider Adele Bellinger.
“(We wanted) just a nice easy breeze against the bridle, and that’s what we got,” said Tristan Barry, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “We’re very happy with her.”
Another notable Pletcher worker on Thursday was Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Curalina, who is expected to make her next start in the La Troienne (G1) on Oaks Day. With exercise rider Isabelle Bourez aboard, the four-year-old daughter of Curlin breezed in company with Caribbean, covering five furlongs in 1:00.60.
Fractions were :12.20, :23.80, :35.80 and 1:00.60, with gallop out times of 1:13.60 and 1:26.80.
The move marked the third breeze at Keeneland for Curalina, who has not raced since last October when finished third behind stablemate Stopchargingmaria in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
“She’s training very strong,” Barry said. “This breeze this week was better than last week’s and what we wanted to see from her. That’s going to put her on course to run at Churchill.”
The two fillies are to move to Churchill on Monday.
The Pletcher stable contributed to one of the most dazzling performances of the Keeneland spring meet on Sunday when the three-year-old colt Stradivari opened his 2016 season with a 14 1/2-length victory in a 1 1/8-mile allowance in 1:48.64.
Stradivari, who won one of two starts last year, races for breeder John Gunther in partnership with Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier. The Medaglia d’Oro colt is expected to make his stakes debut in his next start.
“I’m sure it’s going to depend on graded stakes earnings and how many people enter in the (May 21) Preakness ([G1] at Pimlico), whether he goes there,” Barry said. “If that doesn’t happen, he’ll probably go to the (May 14) Peter Pan ([G2] at Belmont).”
Rachel’s Valentina photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography