The Legacy Continues: Wit’s Next Act Blossoms on the Grass

Wit Makes a Move to Grass: Expanding Opportunities for a Talented Colt


In a bold and strategic move, renowned Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher has decided to shift gears with his promising 3-year-old colt, Wit. With a turf pedigree that speaks volumes, a track record that reflects consistency, and a desire to explore new possibilities, Pletcher is set to test Wit’s abilities on the grass. This decision has generated plenty of buzz within the racing community, capturing the attention of horseplayers and industry experts alike. Let’s explore the reasoning behind this move and the potential implications it holds for Wit’s future.

Unearthing Recency Bias and Examining Past Performance

Pletcher’s decision to transition Wit to turf comes after the colt’s commendable achievements on the dirt. With a record of 3 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in six career starts, Wit has showcased his talent and versatility. Notably, he secured victories in the Grade 3 Sanford at Saratoga and the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct earlier this year. His standout performance in the Bay Shore, where he triumphed after going three-wide and narrowly defeating Highly Respected, demonstrated his tenacity and potential for success.

However, recent races have given Pletcher pause for thought. Wit’s last outing in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park resulted in a fourth-place finish, leaving the trainer to ponder whether the colt had reached his limit on dirt. Although facing tough competition, including the highly impressive Jack Christopher, Wit finished closer to the back of the pack than to the front, raising questions about his ability to compete against top-tier dirt horses.

The Precedent of Success: Intriguing Similarities with Emmanuel

Intriguingly, Pletcher found solace in the success of another horse in his barn who underwent a surface switch from dirt to turf. Emmanuel, a 3-year-old colt, made a smooth transition, finishing a commendable third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass before triumphing in the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge. Encouraged by this precedent, Pletcher saw an opportunity to explore Wit’s potential on the grass.

Testing the Waters: Wit’s Turf Workouts

To gauge Wit’s aptitude for turf racing, Pletcher decided to set him loose on the training turf at Saratoga. The results were promising, with Wit showcasing his affinity for the grass. In his first workout on July 22, he clocked an impressive time of 47.95 seconds for a half-mile breeze, emerging as the fastest among a group of 63 competitors. Working alongside graded stakes-placed Scottish Star, Wit demonstrated his determination and competitiveness. A subsequent four-furlong breeze eight days later solidified the trainer’s confidence, as Wit completed the workout in 50.29 seconds.

Pletcher’s observations during these turf workouts were telling. Wit’s enthusiasm and enjoyment on the grass were palpable, leading the Hall of Fame trainer to believe that the surface change could be a transformative move for the colt. Encouraged by these promising signs, Pletcher prepared to unleash Wit in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame race at Saratoga.

Ancestral Influences: Exploring Wit’s Pedigree

Delving into Wit’s bloodlines shed further light on the potential success of this turf experiment. The Practical Joke colt, purchased for an impressive $575K in the 2020 Keenland September Yearling Sale, boasts an ancestry that sparks hope for a successful transition to turf racing. Wit’s dam, Numero d’Oro, is a daughter of the prestigious Medaglia d’Oro, known for producing strong grass performers. Furthermore, his great-grandsire on his dam’s side, El Prado, was a champion in Ireland, winning two Group 1 races. The presence of such influential turf performers in his bloodline strengthens the case for Wit’s ability to excel on grass.

Implications for Horseplayers: A New Turf Contender Emerges

With Wit’s shift to turf, horseplayers have an additional contender to evaluate and consider on the highly competitive New York grass circuit. The colt’s proven talent and consistent performances on the dirt provide a solid foundation for his potential success on the grass. While challenging Chad Brown’s formidable barn of turf standouts may seem daunting, Wit’s unique combination of pedigree, versatility, and competitive spirit make him a formidable adversary. As racing enthusiasts await the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, where Wit will make his turf debut, anticipation and speculation abound.


Todd Pletcher’s decision to transition Wit to turf encapsulates the essence of horseracing—the pursuit of new possibilities and the constant quest to maximize a horse’s potential. With a careful analysis of Wit’s performances, an exploration of his pedigree, and promising turf workouts, Pletcher has crafted a strategy that capitalizes on the colt’s strengths and opens doors to untapped opportunities. As the racing world eagerly awaits Wit’s turf debut, there is an undeniable sense of excitement and anticipation. Only time will reveal the true extent of Wit’s capabilities on the grass, but one thing remains certain—a new turf contender has emerged, poised to make a resounding impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did Pletcher decide to move Wit to turf?

Pletcher considered several factors, including Wit’s impressive turf pedigree, recent underwhelming performances on dirt, and the successful surface switch of another horse in his barn. These elements led him to believe that it was worth exploring Wit’s potential on the grass.

2. Did Wit’s turf workouts indicate a positive adaptation to the surface?

Yes, Wit’s turf workouts were highly encouraging. He displayed enthusiasm, competitive spirit, and a strong affinity for the grass. These workouts served as a testament to Wit’s potential as a turf contender.

3. What are the implications of Wit’s move to turf for horseplayers?

Horseplayers now have an additional contender to consider in turf races, particularly within the competitive New York grass circuit. Wit’s proven talent, consistent performances on dirt, and impressive pedigree make him a compelling and formidable adversary.

4. How does Wit’s pedigree support his potential success on grass?

Wit’s pedigree includes influential turf performers, such as Medaglia d’Oro and El Prado. The presence of these accomplished ancestors strengthens the case for Wit’s ability to excel on the grass, given their track record of producing successful turf performers.

5. When and where will Wit make his turf debut?

Wit’s highly anticipated turf debut will take place in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame race at Saratoga. This significant event will provide a definitive test of Wit’s capabilities on the grass, capturing the attention of racing enthusiasts worldwide.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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