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Union Rags, Pletcher armada work at Palm Meadows

  • Union Rags romped in last fall's Champagne (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Kentucky Derby hopefuls were out in force at Palm Meadows on Monday, led by Grade 2 Fountain of Youth contestants Union Rags, Algorithms and Discreet Dancer, all working toward their clash at Gulfstream Park February 26.

Grade 1 Champagne star Union Rags was introduced to new rider Julien Leparoux, who guided the Michael Matz pupil through five furlongs in 1:03 on the fast main track.

"Very happy I've got to know Union Rags this morning," Leparoux tweeted. "Breeze went good."

Union Rags had romped in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special prior to his Champagne heroics. The Dixie Union colt endured his first loss in the November 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, where he was beaten just a head by Hansen after a wide trip.

Regular rider Javier Castellano gave up the mount aboard Union Rags in order to maintain his partnership with the Todd Pletcher-trained Algorithms in the Fountain of Youth. Union Rags ranked as the favored individual interest in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, bet down to 7-1 at Sunday's closing time.

Undefeated Algorithms extended his record to three-for-three, while handing Hansen his first loss, with a dominant victory in the Grade 3 Holy Bull January 29.

In his Monday work, Algorithms toured a half-mile in :49 1/5. The 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth will serve as his first two-turn attempt for the son of Bernardini.

Stablemate and fellow unbeaten Discreet Dancer zipped five furlongs in 1:00 4/5. A track record-setting debut winner sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream on December 3, the Pletcher pupil easily captured an entry-level allowance going a one-turn mile on January 7.

Discreet Dancer, who missed a work last week reportedly due to a fever, will likewise be tackling a route for the first time in the Fountain of Youth.

Four other notable Pletcher sophomores posted works.

Gemologist, undefeated winner of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club, negotiated a half-mile in :49 3/5.

Freshened after that November victory at Churchill Downs, the Tiznow colt was recording just his second work back. Gemologist could return in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10 or the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn on March 17.

Grade 2 Remsen third El Padrino, a smashing optional claiming winner at Gulfstream on January 29, reeled off four furlongs in :48 1/5. The well-bred son of Pulpit is scheduled to ship to Fair Grounds for the Grade 2 Risen Star on February 25.

Grade 2 Demoiselle diva Disposablepleasure, prepping for her reappearance in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra on the same day at Fair Grounds, traveled five panels in 1:02 3/5. The Giacomo filly is nominated to the Triple Crown.

On the firm turf, Our Entourage covered five-eighths in 1:05. Fifth in both the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity and the Remsen, the turf maiden winner is expected to revert to the grass.

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