Pletcher Wrestling With Fountain Of Youth Decision For Top Sophomores

Sonic Mule (inside) wins the Mucho Macho Man Stakes.

A number of 3-year-olds from the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher's worked Saturday morning at Palm Beach Downs, and many of them are likely to show up as nominees to the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park March 4.

“Everyone one. Literally everyone,” Pletcher responded when asked who he nominated to the local prep for the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 1.

Nominations for the 71st running of the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth close Sunday.

Pletcher hasn't made any firm plans concerning who he will run in the Fountain of Youth, a race he has won three times, but mentioned stakes winners Made You Look and Sonic Mule, who each turned in half-mile works Saturday, 50.20 (seconds) and 49.20, respectively, and Third Day, who will breeze next weekend, as horses in the Fountain of Youth conversation.

“Honestly, I don't know who I will run,” Pletcher said between races Saturday. “I don't expect it will be more than one horse. I will try to spread everyone out, and I probably won't make a decision until after next week.

“Sonic Mule is one I have under consideration,” he added. “I need to speak to the connections of Made You Look, but we've kicked around running him on the dirt. Third Day will breeze next weekend.”

Calumet Farm's Sonic Mule is coming off a third-place finish in the seven-furlong Swale (G2), where he was beaten 3 1/2 lengths by the winner, Favorable Outcome. Made You Look, owned by Let's Go Stable and Three Chimneys Farm, is a multiple graded-stakes winner on the turf, but untested on the dirt. The undefeated Third Day, owned by Spendthrift Farm and Town and Country Racing, won Gulfstream Park's Just One More Stakes in his second career start and seasonable debut Feb. 8.

Also working Saturday for Pletcher was Theory, who has not run since finishing 10th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) in November. After the race, it was discovered Theory, who won the Futurity Stakes (G3) in his second start after breaking his maiden at first asking, was sick. He returned to the work tab in January and Saturday's five-furlong move in 1:01.00 marked his seventh on the comeback trail for his owners, WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and SF Racing

“He worked well and is coming back good. I'm happy with him, but I don't think he will be quite ready for the Fountain of Youth,” Pletcher said. “We might wait for the Spectacular Bid.”

The $75,000 Spectacular Bid will be run at 6 1/2 furlongs on March 25.

-- by The Paulick Report and published on HorsePlayUSA.com

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