A superb cast of sophomores will contest the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The feature on a blockbuster day of racing in South Florida acts as a 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby scoring event, with the top four finishers earning points towards the Run for the Roses on a 100-40-20-10 basis.
Top Picks for the Florida Derby
- #9 Independence Hall
- #7 Tiz the Law
- #1 As Seen on TV
- #5 Gouverneur Morris
Betting the Florida Derby
- $20 Win #9
- $1 Exacta Box 1,5,7,9
Florida Derby Contenders
#1 As Seen on Tv — Breen pupil didn’t have an ideal trip when third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) most recently. Lookin at Lucky colt was a sharp runner-up in the Mucho Macho Man S. on the course two back, and he figures to sit a great trip from the rail on Saturday. Paco Lopez retains the mount.
#2 Shivaree — Dual stakes hero has been first or second in five successive one-turn tries in advance of his biggest assignment to date. Ralph Nicks charge removes blinkers for this one, but he will need a career best to make the frame against this cast.
#3 Disc Jockey — Son of Bodemeister makes his two-turn bow in a demanding spot for Joseph. Bay has been sharp in a pair of races following the claim, and he has appeal as an improving colt who might thrive at the distance. Tyler Gaffalione will be in the stirrups.
#4 Soros — Smooth Air S. victor makes his seasonal debut in a salty spot for Delgado. Longshot has been training well in preparation for his graded bow, but it is a big ask of the Commissioner colt to impact this field off the bench. Edgar Prado rides.
#5 Gouverneur Morris — Pletcher pupil was runner-up in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland second time out, and he made his 3-year-old debut a winning one when toppling a strong allowance cast at Tampa Bay Downs. $600,000 son of Constitution has been heavily backed in each of his three races to date, while improving his Brisnet Speed figure on each occasion, as well. Kentucky-bred looms large in the lane with clear sailing under Johnny V.
#6 Ajaweed — Well-bred Curlin colt has placed in two graded races in succession, and he could receive a fast and contested pace to rally into late while making his local debut. McLaughlin trainee continues to train forwardly, and the Shadwell homebred will make one run in the stretch beneath Saez.
#7 Tiz the Law — Standout colt from the Tagg shedrow was ultra-impressive in his Holy Bull (G3) romp on the surface last time out. Empire State-bred has trained well in the interim, and his best performance will make him especially tough to beat on Saturday. Classy son of Constitution is a must-use with Manny Franco aboard.
#8 My First Grammy — Chestnut son of Curlin is still a maiden and would be a total shock to factor against this field. Sanchez trainee held second versus special weight foes last time, and he fits better with that kind at this stage of his development.
#9 Independence Hall — Nashua (G3) star suffered his first setback when a fine second in the Sam F. Davis (G3), finishing more than 11 lengths clear of his nearest foe. Also by Constitution, the Trombetta pupil has registered strong Brisnet Late Pace figures in three straight and will handle the added distance at Gulfstream. Joel Rosario inherits the mount atop the selection.
#10 Candy Tycoon — Second from the Pletcher barn has shown steady improvement as the distances have increased, and he rates an exotics chance with another step forward. Son of Twirling Candy was a belated second in the Fountain of Youth and has posted a pair of strong morning moves at Palm Beach Downs since.
#11 Sassy But Smart — Overdriven colt exits an even fourth-place result in the grassy Palm Beach (G3) last time. Florida-bred is unproven on dirt and faces some class question marks in this endeavor. Joe Bravo has the assignment.
#12 Ete Indien — Fountain of Youth romper draws outside once again for Biancone. Summer Front colt has been fantastic in each of his trio of races on the dirt, with all of them coming on this strip. Dark bay has fired two bullet morning drills in anticipation of his Grade 1 debut, and he will be sent from the break beneath Geroux.
#13 Rogue Element — Romans trainee is a maiden who nearly pulled off a 116-1 upset most recently. The also-eligible contender looks overmatched today.