01/07/2012 3:06PM

Gulfstream: Gemologist, Overdriven add to depth of Pletcher's 3-year-old crop

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Chuchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Gemologist may start twice before the Kentucky Derby.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Aside from all the good-looking 3-year-old prospects trainer Todd Pletcher has already unleashed here during the opening month of the Gulfstream Park meet he also has two others waiting in the wings, Gemologist and Overdriven, who have combined to win all five of their starts.

Gemologist is 3 for 3, capping off his undefeated 2-year-old campaign with a 1 3/4-length victory over the equally well- regarded Ever So Lucky in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Cup at Churchill Downs. Overdriven cruised to a pair of easy wins in July that included a four-length victory in the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga before being sent to the sidelines for the remainder of the year.

Gemologist rejoined Pletcher’s stable at Palm Meadows earlier this week after spending some time at WinStar Farm following the Kentucky Jockey Cup.

“We just wanted to give him a little time to wind down after his 2-year-old season,” said Pletcher. “Ideally we’d like to look for two races for him before the Derby, one in March and one in April.”

Overdriven, who is owned by Mike Repole, remains on the farm in Ocala and may not return to the track in time to get on the Kentucky Derby trail.

“I just didn’t like the way he was moving last summer so I sent him home,” said Pletcher. “It wasn’t anything serious, nothing surgical, just some minor stuff. He still needs 30 days more on the farm and we might be a little too far behind schedule to make the Triple Crown.”

Awesome Maria could return to races in February

Pletcher also reported that his Grade 1 winner Awesome Maria is back in training and preparing for a comeback that could begin here next month. Awesome Maria, a homebred daughter of Maria’s Mon owned by the E. Paul Robsham Stables, won all four of her starts at 3, beginning locally with the Grade 3 Sabin and Rampart and ending on June 18 with her three-length victory in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps. Afterwards, she was sidelined due to a condylar fracture in her left front.

“She’s doing well and hopefully we’ll have her ready for the Sabin,” said Pletcher.

The Grade 3 Sabin will be run on Feb. 25.