Undefeated Indy Dancer, who has won both his career starts, will make his stakes debut in Sunday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds instead of the Fountain of Youth, trainer Todd Pletcher said.
Pletcher had originally slated the Risen Stakes for the son of A.P. Indy's next start, but when his Fountain of Youth hopeful, Bham, came down with a fever and was forced to miss the race, Pletcher contemplated changing his plans.
"I only considered it briefly," Pletcher told a national teleconference. "What makes the Risen Star more attractive is that it's a gradual step into stakes competition. And with his come-from-behind running style, the long stretch at Fair Grounds will suit him better. Gulfstream has been favoring speed over the last week. Indy Dancer is a true stayer and drops way out of it. He has a tremendous pedigree and a great disposition.
"I shipped Balto Star to Fair Grounds last weekend for the Whirlaway and all the shipping plans went well. Then, he won the race, which boosted my confidence and showed that a horse could ship there from Gulfstream and win."
Indy Dancer is expected to face several tough opponents, including dual stakes winner Saintly Luck and impressive allowance winners Seattle Hoofer and Badge of Silver.
Pletcher will run Lion Tamer in Saturday's seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes. "He has a lot of raw ability and an extraordinary turn of foot," Pletcher said. "He just has to prove he can get the two turns. I'm running him in the Hutcheson to give him a good foundation before I stretch him out."