Happy Florida Derby Day! 

The Florida Derby headlines a monster card at Gulfstream Park where there are five graded stakes races. 

Trivia Question: The Florida Derby has produced fifteen Kentucky Derby winners, who was the most recent? 

Race 11 – The Gulfstream Park Oaks – Grade II 

One Mile and a Sixteenth on the Dirt for Three Year Old Fillies 

  1. Power Squeeze: Has won three in a row including the Cash Run (82 Beyer) and then the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa with a nice inside trip. Inside draw should allow him to establish position for a stalking trip. Piece of it.
  2. Do Gooder: Broke her maiden in her second career start via a front end score in the slop last month over this track (77 Beyer). Jena Antonucci trains with Castellano on the irons…where have I heard of that combo before? Needs to improve. Lasix comes OFF. Possible at a price.
  3. Neom City: Longshot runner attracts Joe Bravo to the saddle. Hard to see, even if you squint.
  4. Ways and Means: Highly touted Chad/Irad/Klaravich runner was injured in the Spinaway at the Spa which took her out of training for four months. Has been working nicely with a couple of recent bullet drills. Stretches out to a route for the first time. Chad Brown wins at a 25% clip first off this type of a layoff with three year olds. The Pick.
  5. Into Champagne: Last out in the Davona Dale she broke wide and stayed in the clear down the backside. She made a strong move on the turn, but couldn’t catch Fiona’s Magic (80 Beyer). Stalk and pounce type. Draws inside of that Davona Dale rival today. Hits the board.
  6. Gun Song: Improved significantly in her two most recent starts with Beyer figs in the mid-80s. That improvement corresponds with the addition of Lasix and Blinkers along with getting on a fast track. Lasix comes OFF. Hard to determine what we have. Wait and see.
  7. America’s Vow: Took five starts to break her maiden and then was a decent third in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa behind Power Squeeze. She’ll need a big time improvement to get the top prize today. Passing.
  8. Fiona’s Magic: Wired the field in the Davona Dale (80 Beyer) while setting a moderate pace and looked very professional in doing so. Finished a good second in the Forward Gal two back (75 Beyer). She’s a front end runner who has learned to ration out her speed. Contender.
  9. Scalable: Pletcher tried this one in the Breeders’ Cup as a maiden where she was an OK fifth. Disappointed in the Forward Gal last out where she was three wide on the turn and flattened out coming for home (71 Beyer). Maybe rebounds while stretching back out. 

Picks 4-5-1-8 


Race 14 – The Florida Derby – Grade I 

One Mile and One Furlong on the Dirt for Three Year Olds 

  1. Frankie’s Empire: Won the Swale and then was a decent third in the Fountain of Youth (84 Beyer).  Stalker type fits here but will need a good sized improvement in his 9th start. Not likely.
  2. Hades: Undefeated in three career starts and was impressive in the Holy Bull where he won on the front end (90 Beyer). That paired up his 90 Beyer earned earlier this year sprinting in an allowance race. He should face some company up front today, but he is not a need the lead type and can sit a trip just off the expected pace setters coming from his outside. The Pick. 
  3. Bail Us Out: Broke his maiden over the synthetic surface last month (82 Beyer) for Pletcher/Repole. This is a very big jump in class. Irad takes over the mount. Passing. 
  4. Grand Mo the First: Just missed in the Tampa Bay Derby with a strong rally down the center of the track (82 Beyer) after a wide trip. He should appreciate the extra half furlong today. Room for improvement in what will be his third career start on dirt today. Price play. 
  5. Real Macho: Tried stakes company in the Fountain of Youth off an N1X company win. He was up on a slow pace but didn’t kick on when the real running started. Not today.
  6. Le Dom Bro: Finished a nice second in the Fountain of Youth (85 Beyer) where he attended the pace but was outrun by Conquest Warrior in the stretch. Showed he can handle two turns, but he got things his way that day and he still didn’t get top prize. Underneath.
  7. Catalytic: Saffie Joseph stretches out this colt and moves into stakes company off a fast closing second while sprinting in N1X company (77 Beyer). That fig matched his maiden score going six furlongs. Faces much tougher today.
  8. Seminole Chief: Flopped in the slop at the Big A in the Withers but came back to wire an N1X field on the synthetic track (84 Beyer). That win was his first start with Lasix which comes OFF today. Passing.
  9. Conquest Warrior: Paired up 84 Beyers for Shug in two wins including a decisive five length victory against N1X company as the odds on favorite going nine furlongs. Is tactical enough to stay close and should be running in the lane into a decent pace. This post isn’t great, but he’s tactical enough work out a trip. Gets a piece.
  10. Fierceness: Has been up and down with a Breeders’ Cup score along with a flop in the Champagne and so-so third in the Holy Bull. At least in the Champagne he the excuse of a sloppy surface. There was no such excuse in the Holy Bull.  If he runs his best race he’ll likely win but I lack confidence in him at a short price from this far outside post. Play against.
  11. Iris’s Dream: Broke his maiden last out against maiden optional claimers on the turf. Nope.

Picks 2-9-6-10 

Trivia Answer: Always Dreaming was the last Florida Derby champ to win the Kentucky Derby (2017). Maximum Security crossed the line first in 2019, but was disqualified for interference.