(2008 black colt, More Than Ready - Secret Heart, by Fort Wood)
||Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf S.-Grade 2|
||Summer Stakes-Grade 3 (Canada)
The story of Pluck begins many years before his birth. Team Valor campaigned a filly in South Africa named Secret Heart, a majestic daughter of Fort Wood who literally towered over most of her rivals. Secret Heart was a stakes winner and multiple Grade 1 placed in her native land, and twice placed in three starts in the U.S.
Because she was such a superior physical specimen, Barry Irwin opted to retain Secret Heart for the stable's broodmare band, and selected More Than Ready as her first cover. The result was Pluck.
His career started on the muddy main track and while he finished 3rd behind Bail Out The Cat and Soldat, it was clear that turf was his preferred surface. He found the winner's circle in his very next start, which came on Belmont's turf course.
Pluck advanced next to the Continental Mile at Monmouth and ran somewhat erratically while finishing 2nd in a dead-heat. Stewards judged that Pluck had failed to keep a straight line and relegated him to 4th in his stakes debut.
Next stop was Woodbine and the Grade 3 Summer Stakes. Like most of his previous races, he started far back and came with a rush in the homestraight to catch the leaders and go on to victory. The Summer Stakes was a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, so Pluck's ticket to the big dance was punched.
The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf was the race that defined Pluck as a true superstar of the turf. He stumbled at the start and spotted the field a half-dozen lengths. On the first turn, a horse slipped and fell in front of him, his jockey tumbling into Pluck's path. Pluck steadied and swerved to avoid the sprawling jockey and lagged well behind the remaining field into the backstretch. While many in the crowd may have been understandably ripping up their winning tickets, Pluck and his jockey Garret Gomez were not quite ready to quit.
Edging closer going into the final turn, he flew four wide around the bend, sliced through rivals with a furlong to go and drew off easily to score by a length in a most improbable victory.
Pluck currently stands at stud at Vinery Australia, next to his sire More Than Ready.
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