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Pletcher's Charming Kitten Should Improve

A glance at the past performance lines of Charming Kitten would lead most handicappers to expect a move forward in Sunday’s $100,000  Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream. Breaking from the far-outside post position for his first start in three mounts, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt raced four-wide into the stretch and fell a half-length short of catching victorious Mystic Love in the $100,000 Dania Beach on Dec. 15.

Count trainer Todd Pletcher among those who are expecting Charming Kitten to make strides forward in Sunday’s 1 1/16-mile turf stakes.

“He lost a little bit of ground (due to the No. 10 post), but I thought he ran well in spite of that. He’s training even better for this race, so we’re optimistic he’ll have an improved performance,” Pletcher said.

Charming Kitten is a son of Kitten’s Joy and is owned by breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who campaigned Kitten’s Joy, the 2004 Eclipse Award-winning male turf champion.

The Pletcher-trained Discreet Dancer, who was nominated but was not entered for Saturday’s $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint, is nearing a return to action from an 11-month layoff.

“He’s getting there. We’re still probably a few works away. He’s training well and has come back well so far,” said Pletcher, who saddled Discreet Dancer to a pair of dominating victories to open his career at Gulfstream last season before a third-place finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2) last February.

The Pletcher-trained Verrazano has been training well since scoring an eye-catching debut victory by more than seven lengths at Gulfstream on Jan. 1.

“He had a good breeze on Sunday (four furlongs in :49 2/5), and he’ll have another one this Sunday. Then, we’ll look for a spot for him maybe next month,” Pletcher said. “Most likely we’ll go the allowance route. We’ll look to gradually stretch out.”



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