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Pletcher's posse dominates Kentucky Derby trail

Tuesday - 2/19/2013, 7:43pm  ET

FILE - In this May 4, 2012 file photo, trainer Todd Pletcher watches his Kentucky Derby entries during a morning workout at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Pletcher's promising 3-year-olds pick up the pace this weekend on the road to the Kentucky Derby, with Violence set for the Fountain of Youth and Palace Malice the Risen Star. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, FIle)

RICHARD ROSENBLATT
AP Sports Writer

No trainer has started more than five horses in a Kentucky Derby.

The way the Derby prep season is shaping up, that could change. Todd Pletcher has a shot at saddling six or seven of the 20 3-year-olds who will be led into the starting gate at Churchill Downs on May 4.

"Right now, at this stage, I can't recall having this depth," the trainer said during a conference call Tuesday, adding that great expectations in mid-February can turn quickly by the first Saturday in May. "But we are hopeful we're able to keep it going."

Pletcher's posse of prospects is led by Shanghai Bobby, who remains No. 1 in the AP's latest Run to the Roses list of Top 10 Derby contenders.

Also on the list are No. 4 Violence, No. 5 Verrazano and No. 8 Overanalyze. Other Pletcher 3-year-olds considered to be on the Derby trail include Capo Bastone, Delhomme, Palace Malice and Revolutionary.

"At this point, it's as many as six or seven," he said, "but none of them have gotten there yet."

Pletcher and two Hall of Famers, D. Wayne Lukas and Nick Zito, share the record of five starters in a Derby. Only Lukas came out a winner, with Grindstone in 1996.

The new Top 10 has one change -- Super Ninety Nine moves in at No. 7 for trainer Bob Baffert after an 11
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