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Jan 08, 2015

Commissioner gets back into action in allowance

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Belmont Stakes runner-up Commissioner returns to the races Saturday at Gulfstream Park in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 4-year-old will start from post 4 in the eight- horse field with Javier Castellano riding. Post time will be approximately 1:38 p.m. ET.

"We gave him plenty of time, more time than he actually needed with the idea that we'd have hopefully a fresh horse for his 4-year-old campaign," Pletcher said. "Based on his pedigree, you would anticipate he should be coming into his own as a 4-year-old. Hopefully he has a big year ahead of him."

Commissioner, owned by WinStar Farm, was second to Tonalist in last June's Belmont Stakes in which California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth. That proved to be his last race of 2014 after having surgery to remove an ankle chip following the 1 1/2-mile Test of the Champion.

"We've been very happy with the way he's been training, and we were looking for a race to get him back under way," Pletcher said. "He was eligible to this so it kind of made sense as a possible prep for races down the road which could possibly include the Donn (Feb. 7) should he run well."

Commissioner was sixth in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream and Arkansas Derby, third in the Sunland Derby and second to Tonalist in the Peter Pan as a prep for the Belmont Stakes.

"He ran well here once last year and then didn't seem to run quite as well in the Fountain of Youth as we expected him to," Pletcher said. "At that time of the year, the track became very speed-favoring which probably worked against his style a little bit. We're hoping that he gets back in form and runs well here, and we'll see if that would lead him into the Donn or look for something else."

The 4-year-old has won two of eight career starts with three seconds and a third for $515,767.



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