Verrazano breezes half-mile for Tampa Bay Derby
Back among the Pletcher brigade, champion Shanghai Bobby negotiated five-eighths in 1:00 4/5 while being kept on edge for his next start in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 30.
A son of Harlan's Holiday, Shanghai Bobby was the undefeated Eclipse champion two-year-old of 2012 following his victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on November 3. He suffered his first defeat finishing second in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on January 26 to Itsmyluckyday, who is also training up to the Florida Derby.
Revolutionary, coming off a dramatic score in the Grade 3 Withers, took a half-mile spin in :49 4/5. The Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 30 is emerging as his likely stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby.
Pletcher's trio of candidates for the Grade 2 Rebel likewise limbered up for their possible trip to Oaklawn for March 16.
Multiple Grade 1-placed Capo Bastone, a gritty allowance winner in his first start for Pletcher, went four furlongs in :49 2/5.
Delhomme, who concluded his juvenile campaign with a close third in the Grade 2 Remsen, and undefeated Park City, who ground out an allowance score in his three-year-old bow, each strode five panels in an identical 1:00 4/5.
The four-year-old Graydar, wire-to-wire winner of the Grade 1 Donn Handicap last out on February 9, toured :48 4/5. The gray son of Unbridled's Song is expected to ship to Fair Grounds for the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap on Louisiana Derby Day.
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 1/2 lengths, finished third in a Belmont Park allowance in mid-September and won an allowance back at Gulfstream on December 6 by 4 1/4 lengths before the Donn.
Fellow four-year-old Discreet Dancer sped in :48 3/5 in preparation for Saturday's Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap.
A Florida-bred 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 3/4 lengths in track-record time for 5 1/2 furlongs, followed by a 5 1/2-length allowance score in early January last year. His lone loss was a third-place finish attempting two turns in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes, where he finished 6 1/4 lengths behind Union Rags.
Discreet Dancer went to the sidelines and didn't run again until February 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 2012 Fountain of Youth.
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