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Las Vegas, NV - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the Grade 1 Florida Derby on Saturday, March 28. Some of the best three year olds in the land will be after the winner's share of the $1 million purse and the whopping 100-40-20-10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby when they go 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream's dirt track.
A field of nine Derby hopefuls will take to the track in the Main Event - race 14 on Gulfstream's busy Saturday card. Post time is approximately 7 PM ET. Here is a look into the past performances of all nine combatants for this important and lucrative Grade 1 Derby qualifying clash.
Upstart 8-5 - Richard Violette trained colt started his career with two nice wins - the minor Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga August 24 with a 95 Beyer Speed Figure after a maiden score at first asking. Last time out was an OK second after crossing the line first and being disqualified after it was ruled he interfered with Itsaknockout in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes here February 2. That followed a dominant win by 5 1/2 lengths in the competitive Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on this track January 24 and a good third behind Texas Red and Carpe Diem in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Before that was a respectable second behind Daredevil in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 4. He has placed in all four graded stakes starts - a win, two seconds and a third place finish, has certainly been very competitive ahead of this race and is a legitimate contender for the Kentucky Derby. Jose Ortiz Jr. rides the morning line favorite from an unfavorable outside post.
Itsaknockout 2-1 - Todd Pletcher pupil will try to remain perfect in his career Saturday - three career starts and three wins so far. Last time out was a win in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 21 after a fortunate DQ of Upstart. That followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 4 by five lengths after a maiden score at first asking December 7 - all results on this track. Luis Saez gets the call aboard the morning line second choice from gate 4 Saturday looking to keep an impressive roll going.
Materiality 7-2 - Todd Pletcher trained colt has two career starts and has won both. Last time out was an impressive 5 3/4 length score over highly regarded Stanford in the listed Islamoranda Handicap March 6 after a maiden score by 4 1/4 lengths at first asking January 11 - both results on this track. Materiality will look to make a name for himself despite being lightly raced - as the third choice Saturday with the legendary John Velazquez in the reins.
Ami's Flatter 8-1 - will hit the track for the fifth time for trainer Josie Carroll having recorded a win and two seconds so far. Last time out was one of those seconds - in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 7 which followed a close fourth in the competitive Sam F. Davis Stakes here and a good second in his stakes debut - behind Bluegrass Singer in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park January 3. He departs from the rail Saturday at 8-1 odds with Javier Castellano aboard.
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Indianaughty 20-1 - Dale Romans trained colt made his stakes debut February 14 and finished a disappointing ninth in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate after a two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream January 19 in his first start in North America and a five length maiden win in England in August. Indianaughty looks for a strong bounceback Saturday with Corey Lanerie guiding him from post 3.
Jack Tripp 20-1 - Dale Romans pupil will race in stakes company for the first time Saturday and look to place in his first race in three tries this year. Jack Tripp broke maiden on October in his third career start and followed that with a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs in November but has failed to hit the board in his last three starts overall. Corey Lanerie rides from post 2.
Quimet 20-1 - Nick Zito trained gelding has five career starts with a win, a second and a third place finish. He makes his graded stakes debut off a respectable third in the minor Islamorada Handicap March 6, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 4 and a Maiden Claiming score January 1 - all results on this track. He has been OK the last three months and will have Luis Saez guiding him from post 5 at 20-1 on the morning line.
My Point Exactly 30-1 - William Kaplan trained gelding has four career starts with two wins so far. He enters this week on a nice two race streak - the listed Sunday Silence Stakes last time out at Louisiana Downs way back on September 6 and a maiden score on this track in August. He makes his first start in six months Saturday with Juan Leyva in the irons at 30-1 odds.
Dekabrist 30-1 - Gennadi Dorochenko trained colt won his first two career starts but has failed to place in 11 starts since! He enters off a fourth in the listed Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds February 28, a sixth and a fifth respectively in Allowance races and an eighth in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes January 17. He has experience for sure (5 graded stakes starts already) but just doesn't have the results to make him a serious threat this week. Antioco Murgia has the mount aboard the longest shot in the field from gate 8.
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