Updated on 12/23/2011 10:48AM

Gulfstream: Pletcher showcases plenty of young talent

Bob Coglianese
The one-mile Holy Bull on Jan. 29 will be the next spot for Algorithms, the most advanced of Todd Pletcher's 2-year-olds.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – It’s doubtful anybody is enjoying Gulfstream Park’s early opening more than Todd Pletcher.

Not only has Pletcher jumped out to a big lead in the trainer standings, having already won 11 races just 10 days into the meet, which opened a month earlier than usual on Dec. 3, he has also shown off a quartet of talented 2-year-olds likely to make plenty of noise during the coming winter.

Pletcher wasted little time showcasing his young talent when Discreet Dancer freaked making his debut here opening day, earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure while dominating statebred maidens by nearly nine lengths. Last Friday, Pletcher brought Algorithms back from a six-month layoff to win a first-level allowance going 6 1/2 furlongs, defeating the previously unbeaten and highly regarded Consortium in the process. Pletcher then closed out his big weekend by unveiling a pair of promising debut maiden winners, Dan and Sheila on Saturday and Ciao Bella the following afternoon. Both won going a flat mile.

“We had a good run this summer with all our horses, including the first group of 2-year-olds to come ready this year but after Saratoga we hit a little lull, especially with the young horses,” said Pletcher. “Once we got down here with the second bunch, it seemed like we had a pretty good group the way they were training at Palm Meadows and so far that’s the way it’s turned out.”

Although Dan and Sheila is a son of the red-hot turf sire More Than Ready, he began his career Saturday not on grass but over the main track, where he overcame a wide trip to cruise to a 1 1/2-length victory under jockey Javier Castellano. Dan and Sheila is owned by the Zayat Stables.

“Being by More Than Ready it was logical to try him on grass the first time,” said Pletcher. “But after working him on both surfaces it just seemed he was better on dirt. “

Ciao Bella, a Giant’s Causeway filly owned by Michael Tabor, broke a step slow and endured a somewhat eventful trip before unleashing a steady and powerful run to blow by the leaders en route to an eye catching 7 1/4-length triumph.

“She turned in a most professional effort,” said Pletcher, referring to Ciao Bella. “This filly got some dirt in her face, climbed a little bit, got a good education, and won to boot.”

Pletcher said he has no plans on rushing Discreet Dancer, Dan and Sheila, or Ciao Bella into stakes races off their maidens wins. Algorithms, on the other hand, will likely make his next start in the Grade 3 Holy Bull on Jan. 29.

“We’ve still got a long way to go with all of them but by breaking their maidens in December, it gives us a little more time,” said Pletcher. “They’ll all likely come back in first-level allowance races. Algorithms on the other hand is a little further along than the others so we’ll target the Holy Bull for him next.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article credited Todd Pletcher with nine wins through the first 10 days of the Gulfstream Park meet. He has 11.