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Mike MacAdam's The Wire
by Mike MacAdam

The Wire

A Daily Gazette sports blog
News from the world of thoroughbred horse racing

Saratoga Day 31, 8/24

Home is where you hang your hat.

For Turbulent Descent, that home has changed to Todd Pletcher's barn, but she showed the old adage even applies to horses who don't wear hats as she won the Grade I $500,000 Ballerina at Saratoga Race Course on Friday.

She sat off the pace set by All Due Respect early on in the seven-furlong run for fillies and mares 3 and older, then fired around the turn into the stretch, pulling away for a 1 1/4-length win.

“For this type of race, it seemed like kind of a paceless race, really,” Pletcher said. “We anticipated maybe being a little closer than she sometimes had been, but we just let the race unfold. It was a pretty fast second quarter, 22 2/5 in the second quarter, so she was making up some ground under that. It was a good effort.”

Derwin's Star followed and closed through the last three furlongs to place. All Due Respect finished third.

Turbulent Descent had previously been trined by Mike Puype, but after the 4-year-old was sold privately, she went to Pletcher's big barn. She now has won Grade I races as a 2-, 3- and 4-year-old.

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has been getting acquianted with the filly in the mornings.

“I had been working her quite a few times in the morning, and she's been working really well,” he said. “The only thing we were a little concerned about today was being on the outside with her not being able to get behind horses. She can get pretty aggressive, but she relaxed a little bit the first part of the race. Turning for home, we kind of bumped with the horse inside of us [Nicole H], and she got into the bridle a little bit earlier than I had hoped for, but she still ran a great race.”

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