New Jersey-based trainer Eddie Plesa said his multiple graded stakes-winning four-year-old Itsmyluckyday will van up from Monmouth Park toSaratoga on Friday and is set to run the following afternoon in the Grade 1, $600,000 Woodward, a 1 1/8-mile dirt fixture for three-year-olds and up.
Itsmyluckyday, a son of Lawyer Ron, was a top three-year-old last year, winning the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park before finishing second to Orb in the Florida Derby and to Oxbow in the Preakness. This year, he has come back strong, with three stakes victories. In his most recent start, he finished second to Moreno in the Whitney on August 2 at the Spa.
In that race, he was the only runner to make a significant challenge to the front-running winner, finishing ahead of 2013 champion three-year-old colt Will Take Charge and favored Palace Malice, among others.
Plesa has worked Itsmyluckyday two easy half-miles since then, and added blinkers, which the colt will wear for the Woodward.
"We're going to have a change of equipment," Plesa said by phone. "We worked him both times in the blinkers, and I like the way he went. I think maybe we can fine-tune him a little bit, maybe focus him down the lane; just do something a little different. Sometimes horses need a little something to shake them up."
Itsmyluckyday has made 18 starts in his career, finishing first eight times with earnings of $1,302,600. Plesa said the objective is simple with his barn favorite.
"The script is to win a Grade 1 race," he said. "This is the focus. My whole focus has been to win a Grade 1 race. The race we ran in (the Whitney) and this one coming up have been our target races.
"We're either going to get to the top of the ladder or not. This is what racing is all about, what everybody works for. He's just a neat horse, not because of the races he's running in or because he has brought us so much pleasure the past few years. It's because he's a neat horse to be around. Even if he was just a $15,000 claimer, I like being around him. Like people, they're not just all lawyers or doctors. He's fun to be around, and I look forward to seeing him every morning."
It was announced late Monday that B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm has acquired the breeding interest in Itsmyluckyday, who will continue racing throughout the remainder of 2014 before he takes up stud duty at the Lexington-based farm in 2015.
Itsmyluckyday is being offered immediately to breeders through Spendthrift's Share The Upside Program. The farm is honoring a lock-in fee of $7,500 stands and nurses, but his fee is subject to change depending on future race results.
"Spendthrift remains committed to offering breeders exciting young stallion prospects in our Share The Upside program, and we're thrilled to be able to add a colt of Itsmyluckyday's quality to our future stallion ranks," said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift Farm general manager. "We saw that quality in the Whitney against maybe the best field of older horses assembled so far in 2014, and we believe that performance is a sign of great things to come."