Exotics Plays for the 2024 Kitten’s Joy Stakes

February 1st, 2024

A talented field of nine three-year-olds will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Gulfstream Park turf in Saturday’s $175,000 Kitten’s Joy S. (G3). Conditioner Todd Pletcher has a formidable duo in the contest, but I will give top billing to another contender in the well-meant field. 

Kitten’s Joy Exotics Wagers

  • $15 exacta 6 with 4,9 ($30)
  • $2 trifecta 6 with 4,9 with all ($28)
  • 50-cent superfecta 6 with 4,9 with 4,9 with all ($6)
  • 50-cent superfecta 6 with 4,9 with all with 4,9 ($6)

#6 First World War has run four very good races to commence his career and the sophomore will relish the return to the lawn after a pair of main-track tries leading up to Saturday. By War Front, the colt was a debut graduate at Kentucky Downs prior to finishing a close fourth in the Bourbon S. (G2) on the Keeneland turf. The Kentucky bred then finished second in a solid allowance field on the dirt at Churchill Downs in his third appearance, which preceded a smart second in the Mucho Macho Man S. on the dirt locally. 

Trained by Brendan Walsh, First World War has the early foot to be close in the opening stages. and he will get the jump on the deeper closing types turning for home. The leading selection comes in with a trio of very good morning drills as of late, led by a bullet four panels at Palm Meadows most recently, and he gets the nod with Tyler Gaffalione in the silks. 

Pletcher’s #9 Noted has finished first or second in each of his four lifetime grassy tries to date, which includes a game rally to win the Pulpit S. on this course last time out. The Cairo Prince sophomore is a two-time stakes winner who likes the local lawn, and he has displayed the versatility to win from up close or well back in the early going, as well. Regular pilot Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be in the irons. 

#4 Agate Road, also conditioned by Pletcher, is a Grade 2 winner who came home second best in the Dania Beach S. on the surface while making his 2024 bow. The $650,000 yearling purchase is a powerful late runner who has performed well in each lifetime run to date, and he will receive a more realistic pace with which to rally into on this occasion after being stuck behind dawdling early splits last time. Jose Ortiz inherits the ride.