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Pletcher's Stable Stars Breeze

Trainer Todd Pletcher had a very busy Sunday morning at Palm Meadows with more than a dozen stakes runners from his powerful stable hitting the work tab for upcoming stakes engagements, including E. Paul Robsham Stable’s 4-year-old Discreet Dancer in preparation for Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2).

A Florida homebred by Discreet Cat, Discreet Dancer has made all four of his career starts at Gulfstream with three victories and a third. He won his debut in early December of 2011 and won by 9 ¾ lengths in track record time for 5 ½ furlongs, followed by a 5 ½ lengths allowance score in early January last year and the third-place finish attempting two turns behind Union Rags in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).

Discreet Dancer went to the sidelines and didn’t run again until Feb. 6 when he won a hard-fought neck victory in a six-furlong allowance race. He has been the odds-on favorite in all four of his races, including the Fountain of Youth. He was timed a half-mile in 48 3/5 Sunday morning.

Starlight Racing, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Shanghai Bobby led a list of high-profile 3-year-olds from the Pletcher arsenal, going five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 while being kept on edge for his next start in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on Saturday, March 30.

A son of Harlan’s Holiday, Shanghai Bobby was the undefeated Eclipse champion 2-year-old of 2012 following his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. He suffered his first defeat finishing second in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) on Jan. 26 to Trilogy Stables and Laurie Plesa’s Itsmyluckyday, who is also training up to the Florida Derby.

Another Pletcher stable star on the Sunday morning work tab was Twin Creek Racing Stables LLC’s 4-year-old Graydar, wire-to-wire winner of the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) last out on Feb. 9 by five lengths over Bourbon Courage with 2012 Florida Derby hero Take Charge Indy third.

A roan/gray son of Unbridled’s Song, Graydar was timed in 48 4/5 as he tuned up for his next start, possibly in the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (G2) on Saturday, March 30 at Fair Grounds.

Graydar was making only the fourth start of his career in the Donn, three of them at Gulfstream. He won his debut here on April 8 last year by 8 ½ lengths, finished third in a Belmont Park allowance in mid-September and won an allowance here on December 6 by 4 ¼ lengths before the Donn.

 

 

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