Pletcher Adds Two More Kentucky Derby Contenders to Roster

As if trainer Todd Pletcher did not have a busy enough day planned on Kentucky Derby Day, he now has two additional Derby contenders after Saturday’s prep action.

Materiality won the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on Saturday in his first start in a graded stake and in just his third career start. The $400,000 purchase is a son of Afleet Alex, winner of the 2005 Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

The colt did not make his debut until Jan. 11, breaking his maiden in impressive fashion at Gulfstream Park in the slop. He then won the ungraded Islamorada Handicap going nine furlongs on March 6.

In the Florida Derby he was sent off as 9-5 second choice and won by 1 ½ lengths over Upstart, who had won the Holy Bull (G2) and crossed the wire first in the Fountain of Youth (G2) only to get disqualified for interference in the stretch.

The 100 Derby points Materiality earned gets him into the Run for the Roses, where he will attempt to become the first horse to win the Derby without running as a juvenile since Apollo in 1882. Despite that fact, he is taking action in early Kentucky Derby wagering, down to odds as low as 12-1.

Shortly before the Florida Derby was run, a field of nine lined up in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (G1) and Pletcher sent out Stanford, who had run second to his stablemate Materiality in the Islamorada Handicap.

The colt nearly took the field gate to wire, getting run down by International Star in the final strides, settling for the runner up spot. The 40 Derby points likely will be enough to make it into the Kentucky Derby field. The colt is currently listed at betting odds of 40-1.

International Star swept the three Derby preps at Fair Grounds, also taking down the LeComte (G3) and Risen Star (G2), and he now looks like a legitimate threat for trainer Mike Maker. His odds for the Kentucky Derby have dropped to 18-1.

There are three Kentucky Derby points races coming up on Saturday, April 4. The Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby and Blue Grass are on tap.

The final two Derby prep races will be contested on April 11 – the Arkansas Derby and the Lexington Stakes. The Lexington is worth only 10-4-2-1 Derby points.

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