The final Derby prep in South Florida will take place on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the form of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1). A smaller field is likely for this nine-furlong adventure, but what the field lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Cairo Prince is a multiple Grade 2 hero who toyed with his foes in the Holy Bull S. (G2) here and is clearly the one to beat for conditioner Kiaran McLaughlin. The gray son of Pioneerof The Nile has a fine combination of speed and staying power, and he looks formidable going for this run.
Constitution is unbeaten from a pair of lifetime runs and will get a class test in this one for conditioner Todd Pletcher. The talented colt was a nice winner here on the Fountain of Youth undercard and has been touted from these connections since his debut. Fountain of Youth (G2) star Wildcat Red is just a jump or two from being unbeaten from six lifetime races, and the Jose Garrofalo trainee has outrun his pedigree to this point, so it would be unwise not to trust him now. General A Rod, second in the Fountain of Youth, has never been worse than second from four lifetime races and could appreciate the added ground being out of a Dynaformer mare. Woodbine stakes winner Matador and Sharp Swale S. (G2) winner Spot, are also on board for this strong field of Derby hopefuls.
Fillies on the path to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) will tune up in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). Davona Dale S. (G2) second and third House Rules and Aurelia’s Belle, are likely for this one, and will be joined by multiple graded heroine Stopchargingmaria, rising star Joint Return and Todd Pletcher’s In Tune, a nice winner in her first pair of lifetime races.
While the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby and Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks will garner most of the attention on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, six other stakes will fight for their share of the limelight.
Three of those are turf contests, headed by the Grade 2, $200,000 Pan American sending an 11-strong field 1 1/2 miles over Gulfstream’s green.
The other two turf events are the Grade 3, $150,000 Orchid, which attracted nine fillies and mares to go 1 1/2 miles; and the Grade 3, $100,000 Appleton, featuring 12 runners, including two main-track only entrants, at a mile on the green.
The three undercard dirt races are headed by the Grade 3, $150,000 Rampart for distaffers. The nine-furlong affair drew eight runners while the Grade 3, $100,000 Skip Away will send 11 older competitors 1 3/16 miles over the main track and the $100,000 Sir Shackleton attracted 10 sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs.
2014 G1 $1,000,000 Florida Derby Information (Click here for FREE Florida Derby PP’s courtesy of Brisnet.com)
Date: Saturday, March 29
Where: Gulfstream Park, Florida
Post Time: 6:48pm ET/3:48pm PT
Distance: 1 1/8 Mile Dirt
Conditions: FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS
Florida Derby wagering may include: $1 Exacta / $.50 Trifecta / $.10 Superfecta / $1 Super Hi 5
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Field and odds for the 2014 G1 $1,000,000 Florida Derby
|1||Wildcat Red||3 C||L||122||Velazquez John R.||Garoffalo Jose|
|2||Matador||3 C||L b||122||Leparoux Julien R.||Casse Mark E.|
|3||Cairo Prince||3 C||L||122||Saez Luis||McLaughlin Kiaran P.|
|4||Constitution||3 C||L||122||Castellano Javier||Pletcher Todd A.|
|5||East Hall||3 G||L||122||Leyva Juan C.||Kaplan William A.|
|6||General A Rod||3 C||L||122||Rosario Joel||Maker Michael J.|
|7||Allstar||3 C||L||122||Bocachica Orlando||Vitali Marcus J.|
|8||Spot||3 G||L||122||Lanerie Corey J.||Zito Nicholas P.|