Sports Betting

Pletcher might fill almost third of Derby gate himself

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Where in the world will Todd Pletcher be this Saturday?

The trainer was in Dubai this past Saturday, where he could only watch on his computer as Scat Daddy won the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park and confirmed his status as a Kentucky Derby favorite.

Pletcher has a bunch more Derby hopefuls to deal with this weekend -- no less than four 3-year-olds in final Derby preps in California, Illinois and New York.

Circular Quay, winner of the Louisiana Derby, is set for the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, while Cowtown Cat will run in the Illinois Derby and King of the Roxy and Sam P. in the Santa Anita Derby.

If that isn't enough firepower in Pletcher's quest for a first Derby win -- he's 0-for-14 from six Derby attempts -- the trainer also has highly regarded Any Given Saturday going in the Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 14.

By the time Derby entry time rolls around a few days before the May 5 race, Pletcher could end up with a record six horses in an expected full field of 20. Hall of Famers D. Wayne Lukas and Nick Zito share the record of five starters in a Derby.

Barbaro's jockey, Edgar Prado, may have found his Derby horse in Scat Daddy. With Pletcher's go-to rider John Velazquez also in Dubai, Prado got the call and delivered. While a final decision has not been made, Prado looks to be in line to pick up the mount since Velazquez also has first call on Circular Quay and Any Given Saturday, among others.

This weekend's preps should bring the Derby picture into focus, although the biggest prep of all looks like the Blue Grass. Street Sense, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, will be challenged by Any Given Saturday, Great Hunter and Hard Spun.