Micromanage Takes Skip Away
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL -- Repole Stable's Micromanage, representing the leading combination of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano, parlayed a perfect journey into success in the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) today at Gulfstream Park.
Equipped with blinkers for the first time, the 4-year-old colt broke from the outside post in the 1 3/16-miles contest and secured a tracking spot in third as Nevada Kid and Sr. Quisqueyano sparred on the lead. Castellano gave Micromanage ($10.40) his cue approaching the stretch and got an immediate response from his mount, who surged clear to post a 4 1/4-length triumph. He stopped the clock in 1:55.36.
Norumbega, making his first start since Nov. 2, rallied to complete the exacta. Sr. Quisqueyano stayed on for third.
"It worked out beautiful," Castellano confirmed. "On the backside, my horse kept track of the two speed horses. We had a beautiful spot and at the half-mile pole I knew I had it. I felt it, that we would win the race.” Pletcher echoed Castellano's comments.
"He got a great trip from the outside, he was able to get over and save some ground on the first turn with a stalking position," Pletcher said. "I think the distance suits him well."
Carolyn Hine, who raced champion Skip Away with her late husband Sonny Hine, was on hand to present the trophy in the winner's circle.
Micromanage had won the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth last July before finishing third behind stablemate Verrazano in the Haskell Invitational (G1). The son of Medaglia d'Oro completed his sophomore campaign with a runner-up effort on Dec. 27 in the Traskwood Stakes at Aqueduct. He made his first start this year in the Mineshaft Handicap (G3) in New Orleans on Feb. 22, but was trapped in traffic under rider Mike Smith and wound up seventh that afternoon.
"We knew last time when Mike Smith rode him, he said, 'The horse didn't run that bad, he got stuck inside and he didn't like that,'" Pletcher explained. "So we wanted to keep him clear, and maybe the blinkers gave him some confidence."
A $170,000 yearling purchase by owner Mike Repole, Micromanage will target long-distance events this year.
"He ran a good one," Pletcher continued. "The race I really want to get him ready for is the ($500,000) Brooklyn (G2) on Belmont Day (June 7). The mile-and-a-half will suit him well. We'll probably run him somewhere in between that, but I'm not sure where yet."
Micromanage has now won four of 14 career starts and has bankrolled $436,881. Earlier on the card, Pletcher and Castellano teamed up to win the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks with In Tune.