Soaring By's disappointing effort in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes notwithstanding, Todd Pletchers Derby (and Oaks) three-year-olds had a useful working weekend at Keeneland.

The Polytrack surface continues to play fast in the mornings even though running times dont always reflect that in the afternoons, especially in races around two turns.

The weekend began with Illinois Derby winner Cowtown Cat ripping through five furlongs in :58 4/5. Without a clear-cut speed type signed on for the 20-horse Kentucky Derby, the move seemed to indicate that Pletcher would be content to take the front-end if its available.

With most of the major contenders in stalking mode, keeping an eye on one another, the Cat could steal away to a relatively easy lead. Much will depend, of course, on which horses make the final cat as well as the draw for post positions.

Any Given Saturday appears to have all his energy back, working Sunday morning in the same :58 4/5 beneath Garrett Gomez, his Derby partner. He galloped out a crisp six furlongs in 1:11 2/5.

Scat Daddy, with regular rider Edgar Prado in the boot, worked a deliberate five furlongs in 1:00 4/5. His out time was a useful 1:15 for three-quarters of a mile, observers commenting to Insider that Prado sat motionless, allowing his mount to coast home on his own terms.

Circular Quay, of course, needs to be trained hard since he will start in the Derby off an eight-week respite. As he often does, Pletcher worked the horse in company with another good horse, the filly Rags To Riches, the overwhelming Kentucky Oaks favorite.

The team worked in 1:00 1/5 and galloped out another furlong in a strong :12 4/5. Its the second time these highly talented three-year-olds worked in company, showing the confidence Pletcher has in both to handle pressure applied by a high-class work-mate.