Trainer Todd Pletcher had a busy morning March 3 at Palm Meadows Training Center with more than a dozen stakes runners from his powerful stable hitting the work tab for upcoming stakes engagements.
Topping the workers were 4-year-old Discreet Dancer, in preparation for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 9, and last year's champion 2-year-old male Shanghai Bobby , readying for the March 30 Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I).
E. Paul Robsham Stable's Florida homebred Discreet Dancer, by Discreet Cat , breezed a half-mile in :48.79.
He has made all four of his career starts at Gulfstream with three victories and a third. A track record holder for 5 1/2 furlongs, he went on to finish third behind Union Rags in last year's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).
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.
Shanghai Bobby, owned by Starlight Racing, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, led a list of high-profile 3-year-olds from the Pletcher arsenal, going five furlongs in 1:00.90 while being kept on edge for the $1 million Florida Derby.
A son of Harlan's Holiday, Shanghai Bobby was the undefeated Eclipse champion 2-year-old male of 2012 following his victory in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 3. He suffered his first defeat finishing second in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 26 to 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's fast-developing 4-year-old Graydar , wire-to-wire winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) last out Feb. 9 by five lengths.
A roan/gray son of Unbridled's Song, Graydar was timed in :48.96 as he tuned up for his next start, possibly in the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) March 30 at Fair Grounds.
Graydar was making only the fourth start of his career in the Donn.