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Rick Samuels

Revolutionary Returns in Gulfstream Allowance

Louisiana Derby winner to make first start since Belmont Stakes for Todd Pletcher.

Multiple graded stakes winner Revolutionary  will make his long-awaited return to the races Jan. 11 in a salty one-mile allowance optional claiming heat at Gulfstream Park.

Carded second on Saturday's 11-race program, the race attracted six other older horses to challenge the 4-year-old son of War Pass. Revolutionary drew the rail and will have two-time meet riding champion and Eclipse Award finalist Javier Castellano aboard.

It will be the first start for Revolutionary since finishing fifth to stablemate Palace Malice  in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last June. Following the race, owner WinStar Farm opted to give him the rest of the year off to point for a 2014 campaign.

"He's progressing really well," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "Physically, he's done great since the Belmont. He's put on a lot of weight and filled out and matured, so we're very pleased with him."

Revolutionary has been working steadily at Palm Meadows for his return, with eight published works since mid-November. Most recently, he went four furlongs in :49.90 over the main track Jan. 4.

"Mainly with him, it's just been his physical development," Pletcher said. "He's broadened out and filled out and strengthened and gained weight. He looks like a 4-year-old now."

Bred by W. S. Farish out of the grades stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Runup the Colors, Revolutionary broke his maiden in his fourth start of his 2-year-old campaign in December 2012.

He won his first two races last year, the Withers Stakes (gr. III) and Louisiana Derby (gr. II), before finishing third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), 3 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Orb . The dark bay colt possesses a 3-1-3 record in eight lifetime races with earnings of $1,018,500.

"His Louisiana Derby was impressive, and he ran a big third in the Derby and wasn't beaten that far," Pletcher said. "I think when he's on his game, he's arguably as good a horse as there is in training. We're hoping that proves to be the case this year."

Also entered in Saturday's race are Falling Sky, winner of the 2013 Sam F. Davis (gr. III) trained by former Pletcher assistant George Weaver; 2012 Gulfstream Park Derby winner and Florida Derby (gr. I) runner-up Reveron; Honorable Dillon , who won the Hutcheson (gr. II) at Gulfstream last February; My Adonis, eighth in the Belmont and winless since taking the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth last July; Silver Menace and Viramundo.

"We've got big goals with him," Pletcher said. "This first race isn't one of those big goals, but we always want to win."

The immediate goal for Revolutionary is the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Feb. 8. Pletcher has won the Donn three times, with Graydar  (2013), Quality Road  (2010), and Harlan's Holiday (2003).

"We'll see how this race goes," he said. "Hopefully, this is a steppingstone toward the Donn, and we'll go from there."