Barn Notes

Star Channnel Looks To Stand Out In The Restoration

Posted Saturday, Aug 18, 2012

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After winning easily at second asking as a 2-year-old and then rattling off another pair of victories, including the $75,000 Sophomore Turf Stakes in his second start of 2012, it looked like Star Channel could become one of the shining stars on Todd Pletcher’s deep roster.

            The bay colt was sired by English Channel, the Pletcher-trainee who captured the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Monmouth Park and was an Eclipse Award-winning male grass horse. Like father, like son? Not exactly so far.

            After winning that stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs on April 12, Star Channel lost his rider in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, showed no kick in the Grade 3 Hill Prince at Belmont Park on June 16, and then faded to fourth in the $100,000 Duluth Stakes after setting the pace almost all the way at Saratoga last time out on July 22.

            On Sunday, he’ll contest the $60,000 Restoration Stakes for 3-year-olds going 1 1/6 miles on the Monmouth turf course as he tries for his second stakes win.

            “He hasn’t been running up to par and he needs to run back to form,” said Anthony Sciametta, Pletcher’s assistant at Monmouth.

             Star Channel, who is owned by GDS Racing Stable, has three wins from eight career starts and has earned $116,570 for the highest total of the seven sophomores in the field. He will be ridden in the Restoration by Joe Bravo, who has already won six stakes races, including the $500,000 Grade 1 United Nations, for Pletcher here to date.

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