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Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the 63rd running of the Grade 1 Besilu Florida Derby on Saturday, March 29. Some of the best three year olds in the land will be after the winner's share of the very nice $1 million purse and the 100 qualifying points towards a start in the Kentucky Derby when they go 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream's main track.
The Florida Derby has attracted a field of eight Kentucky Derby hopefuls to go in race 14 on Gulfstream's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 6:48 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all eight entries for this important "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points stakes.
Cairo Prince - has four career starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin - three wins and a thrilling second to Honor Code in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct November 30. Last time out was his best career result - a dominating win 5 3/4 length with a 95 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on this track January 25. He also won the Grade 2 Nashua River Stakes at Aqueduct November 3 and had a MSW score in his debut at Belmont Park. Cairo Prince is a head away from being undefeated and is the 9-5 morning line favorite Saturday as he leaves from post 3 with regular rider Luis Saez.
Wildcat Red - has already made quite a name for himself on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. He has six career starts for trainer Jose Garoffalo and rides a very impressive win streak into the Florida Derby - a win last time out in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on this track February 22 followed a win in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes ahead of C. Zee here February 1 and a pair of seconds in minor stakes action also on this track - behind General a Rod in the Gulfstream Park Derby January 1 and in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes November 9. He started his career with a pair of wins as well - an Allowance in October and a MSW in his career debut September 14. Wildcat Red has four wins and two seconds in six career starts and is one of the favorites to score the 100 points Saturday. He drew the rail and will have John Velazquez aboard at 3-1 odds.
General a Rod - finished second last time out for trainer Michael Maker behind Wildcat Red in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth February 22 and before that won the minor Gulfstream Park Derby over Wildcat Red in his third career start. This after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs November 30 and a MSW score in his debut at Keeneland October 18. He has two wins and two seconds in four career starts - very competitive every time out. He is 7-2 on the morning line and will have Joel Rosario in the saddle from gate 6.
Constitution - Todd Pletcher trained colt will make his stakes debut Saturday after two career starts resulted in two good wins. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming here February 22 after breaking maiden in his debut also on this track January 11. Despite the lack of stakes experience Constitution is the 4-1 fourth choice for the Florida Derby - Javier Castellano will be in the reins.
Florida Derby betting at Gulfstream Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Spot - will race for the seventh time for trainer James DiVito but his coming off his a career highlight - a win in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes on this track March 1 which followed his only other graded stakes action - a fifth in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes here February 1. This after an 8 1/2 length MSW score at Hawthorne October 24. Before that was a fifth, a tenth and a second respectively in MSW races at Keeneland and Arlington Park. Spot had looked just OK before the Swale but he served notice in that race that he is one to be reckoned with. Spot will leave from the outside post at 8-1 odds with Corey Lanerie aboard.
Matador -highly regarded Mark Casse trained colt most recently finished fifth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 6. It followed a fourth in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes February 1 and an equally disappointing sixth after encountering interference in the minor Coronation Futurity at Woodbine November 17. He had a great win in the Cup and Saucer Stakes at Woodbine October 20 to follow an OK third behind Go Bro in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes at Woodbine September 14 and a fourth in his debut - the minor Vandal Stakes August 11. Matador looks like an average colt ahead of this weekend. Julien Leparoux gets the call from post 2 at 15-1 odds.
East Hall - has an astounding 12 career starts already for trainer William Kaplan and is coming off a disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby after an OK fourth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream February 22. This after a pair of thirds - the OBS Championship Stakes at Ocala Training Center January 21 and the Gulfstream Park Derby at Gulfstream January 1. He has just two wins with a second and four third place finishes in his 12 career starts and despite being the most experienced entries is a long shot to contend. East Hall leaves from post 5 at 20-1 odds.
Allstar - will race in stakes company for the first time Saturday for trainer Marcus Vitali with two wins and a second place finish under his belt. Last time out was one of his wins - an Allowance at Calder February 28 after a fifth in a similar race February 14. He has one career start on this track - a second in a Maiden Claiming January 4. Allstar is the longest shot in the field at 30-1 and will depart from the 7-hole Saturday.
Race 14 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:48 PM.
|1||Wildcat Red||J. Velazquez||J. Garoffalo|
|2||Matador||J. Leparoux||M. Casse|
|3||Cairo Prince||L. Saez||K. McLaughlin|
|4||Constitution||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher|
|5||East Hall||J. Leyva||W. Kaplan|
|6||General a Rod||J. Rosario||M. Maker|
|7||Allstar||O. Bocachica||M. Vitali|
|8||Spot||C. Lanerie||N. Zito|
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