03/31/2007 12:00AM

Scat Daddy does Pletcher barn proud

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - In a virtual replay of his performance four weeks ago, Scat Daddy capped another five-win day for trainer Todd Pletcher when outgaming Notional to post a 1 1/4-length victory in Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. The win was the sixth on the day for jockey Edgar Prado.

Pletcher, who along with Scat Daddy's regular rider John Velazquez was in Dubai on Saturday, also won five races topped by Scat Daddy's victory in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes, on Marcho3. His five winners on Florida Derby Day included Safari Queen in the Grade 3 Orchid Stakes and A. P. Arrow in the Grade 3 Skip Away Handicap. He also won the Next Move Handicap at Aqueduct and the Tokyo City Handicap at Santa Anita.

As was the case in the Fountain of Youth, Stormello set the pace in the 1o1/8-mile Florida Derby with Adore the Gold prompting the early running. Prado angled Scat Daddy to the outside around the opening turn from where he raced within easy striking distance of the leaders in the run down the backstretch.

Scat Daddy advanced three wide to challenge Stormello on the final turn, gained control entering the stretch, then withstood a bid from Notional before edging clear at the end. Notional, well placed from the outset, rallied four wide behind Scat Daddy into the stretch, loomed boldly at the eighth pole but could not sustain the bid.

Chelokee, whose trainer Michael Matz won the 2006 Florida Derby with Barbaro, had to steady sharply while racing near the inside and in close contention in early stretch, then rallied belatedly once angling outside for clearance to finish third.

Scat Daddy was timed in 1:49 and paid $6.40.

Pletcher, watched the Florida Derby on his computer in Dubai.

"I spoke to Edgar this morning about positioning Scat Daddy towards the outside, and from what I could see of the race I was amazed at how quickly he was able to pop him out there," Pletcher said. "I could see him take the lead at the top of the stretch and from there it was a mixed feed until we finally heard announcer Larry Colmus call him the winner."

Pletcher said Scat Daddy's victory and his big day at Gulfstream Park took some of the sting out of a sub-par evening in Dubai.

"It was a disappointing night in Dubai, other than Friendly Island's performance so it was great to have things pick up from there with the results in Florida," said Pletcher.

Friendly Island finished second behind Kelly's Landing in the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai.