Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park

Dave Bond

Las Vegas, NV -- The 61st running of the Grade 1 Florida Derby comes our way this Saturday, March 31st from beautiful Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. $1 million is on the line for three year olds willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream's main dirt track.

A very strong contingent of 9 entries will be after one of the most lucrative purses in any of the Derby Prep races. The field is widely considered the strongest group of three year olds assembled so far this year. Three of the last 11 Florida Derby winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.

The Florida Derby is race 11 on Gulfstream's packed Saturday schedule with a post time of 5:40 PM ET.

Below is a list of the entries and the recent results that brought them into this important Prep race:

Florida Derby Race Favorites

Union Rags - Union Rags is still #1 on the Associated Press list of Derby Contenders, is still Vegas' favorite to win the Kentucky Derby and has won four of five career starts - a second in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile by a nose to Eclipse Award winner Hansen being his only blemish. Among the wins is the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes last time out on February 26th at Gulfstream, the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont in October and the Grade 2 Three Chimneys Stakes at Saratoga in August.

Florida Derby betting at Gulfstream Park with OffTrackBetting.com

El Padrino - won the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds last time out on February 25th and before that won an Allowance race at Gulfstream on January 29th in impressive fashion. Todd Pletcher-trained El Padrino is on quite a roll having won both starts this year and having recorded three wins, a second and a third place finish in five career starts.

Remaining Field Entries

Take Charge Indy - will likely set the early pace in the Florida Derby and is coming off an impressive second last time out in an Allowance race at Gulfstream to El Padrino.

Reveron - finished third last time out in the Grade 3 Sam F Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 4th and before that won the Gulfstream Park Derby on this track on New Year's Day.

News Pending - has seven career starts with only one win - a Maiden Special Weight race on December 22nd. But News Pending did finish a very impressive second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes ahead of Discreet Dancer and finished second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream on February 26th behind Union Rags. News Pending could be peaking at just the right time!

Fort Loudon - has raced in some big events; he finished fifth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, fourth in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes and seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Fort Loudon has four wins in 10 career starts and needs a good pay day to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

Neck 'n Neck - most recently finished fourth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes behind Union Rags. In two career starts prior to the Fountain of Youth, Neck `n Neck has a fifth at the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and a second to Discreet Dancer at an Allowance Optional Claiming on January 7th.

Z Camelot - appears to be overmatched in this race with only on third place finish in four career starts. Z Camelot has failed to place in two starts in 2012.

Bartolome - maiden winner at Gulfstream, Bartolome is another long shot having recorded one win and two third place finishes in four career starts against lesser competition.

Florida Derby Entries

Race 11 on Gulfstream's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:40 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Fort Loudon L. Jurado S. Gold 20-1
2 News Pending R. Maragh D. Romans 8-1
3 Take Charge Indy C. Borel P. Byrne 5-1
4 Neck 'n Neck E. Prado I. Wilkes 20-1
5 Z Camelot J. Bravo D. Romans 50-1
6 Union Rags J. Leparoux M. Matz 6-5
7 Bartolome J. Castanon J. Garoffalo 30-1
8 El Padrino J. Castellano T. Pletcher 2-1
9 Reveron E. Trujillo A. Bezara 12-1