Updated on 09/17/2011 10:04AM

Indy Dancer gets another shot

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Indy Dancer will run in the Florida Derby, thanks in part to a good workout Monday at Palm Meadows.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Indy Dancer will get one more opportunity to prove he is a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender when he runs in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

Trainer Todd Pletcher had thought about running Indy Dancer in a second-level allowance race on the Florida Derby undercard and Lion Tamer in the Florida Derby. But, citing a solid workout Monday at Palm Meadows, a lack of graded stakes earnings, and the need to know where he stands with the colt, Pletcher opted to run Indy Dancer in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. Lion Tamer, winner of three straight races including the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes, will run in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park on March 22.

A field of seven is expected to be entered for the Florida Derby when post positions are drawn Wednesday morning. With riders, here is the probable Florida Derby field: Trust N Luck (Cornelio Velasquez), Empire Maker (Jerry Bailey), Senor Swinger (Edgar Prado), Indy Dancer (John Velazquez), Supah Blitz (Rosemary Homeister), Midway Cat (Jorge Chavez), and Formal Attire (Eibar Coa).

Indy Dancer, who finished seventh as the favorite in the Feb. 16 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 Monday under Velazquez. Indy Dancer worked in company with Aristocat, a 3-year-old who will run in Sunday's Tampa Bay Derby.

"I like the way he worked today," Pletcher said. "At this point we've got to find out if what we saw in his first two starts is real. We'll find out Saturday if we're going to press on the Derby trail or go in a different route."

Indy Dancer, a son of A.P. Indy, won his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct on Nov. 11 and an entry-level allowance race by 3 1/2 lengths at Gulfstream on Jan. 4. He was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade 3 Risen Star, but after breaking from post 12, he never got in the race and finished seventh, beaten 19 3/4 lengths by the winner, Badge of Silver.

Pletcher said he might have compromised Indy Dancer's chances in the Risen Star, instructing Velazquez to get into the race early, which forced Indy Dancer wide on the first turn. Pletcher said he would instruct Velazquez on Saturday to take Indy Dancer back and make one run.

That could present another problem for Indy Dancer. The Gulfstream main track has been lightning fast and favoring horses that run close to the pace.

On Sunday at Gulfstream, Formal Attire punched his ticket to the Florida Derby with a six-furlong workout in 1:11.60. Under Eibar Coa, Formal Attire started his work about a length behind stablemate Saturday Hero, drew even about 1 1/2 furlongs in, and dropped a length or two off Saturday Hero around the turn before passing him in the stretch and finishing several lengths in front.

Formal Attire, who won his maiden going nine furlongs here on Feb. 8, has been compromised by troubled trips in several of his starts, which is partly why his connections will let him be a free-runner on Saturday, meaning he could be the one to press Trust N Luck, the front-running winner of the Fountain of Youth.

"If you're going to get in the ring, you've got to be ready to fight," trainer Phil Serpe said.

On Monday at Hollywood Park, Empire Maker worked six furlongs in 1:11.80. He was expected to arrive in south Florida on Tuesday.