OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 1 Florida Derby comes our way from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida this Saturday, April 2. Some of the best three year olds in the land will be after the winner's share of the $1 million purse and the 100-40-20-10 points scale toward the Kentucky Derby when they take to Gulfstream's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles.
A field of 10 will take to the track in the Florida Derby - race 14 on Gulfstream's stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 6:48 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this intriguing Road to the Kentucky Derby Grade 1 stakes - eight of which will likely be battling for third place.
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2016 Florida Derby Race Preview at Gulfstream Park
Mohaymen 1-1 - favorite in the Kentucky Derby Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt finished second (albeit by a wide margin) in Eclipse Awards voting behind Nyquist for two year old males. He hasn't been touched yet in his career - five starts and five wins. Last time out he continued his dominance at Gulfstream with an impressive 2 1/4 length win in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 27 which followed a score by 3 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes here January 30. His other wins came in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes November 28, in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes November 4 and a dominant maiden score at first asking. Mohaymen is firmly on the Derby radar and is one of the two obvious bets, along with Nyquist Saturday - from post 9 with Junior Alvarado set to ride the slight morning line favorite.
Nyquist 6-5 - The runaway winner of the Eclipse Award for 2-year-old-male was the first 2-year-old to win three Grade 1 races since Lookin At Lucky in 2009 for trainer Doug O'Neill. He won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the FrontRunner at Santa Anita and the Del Mar Futurity to go along with the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes. Nyquist has one start in 2016 and that produced yet another impressive, 1 1/2 length win in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita February 15. He has now won all six starts handily and is one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby for a reason - he's darn good. Mario Gutierrez will be in the saddle looking to keep the impressive roll going on the intriguing second choice from gate 4 Saturday.
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Fellowship 15-1 - Stanly Gold trained colt has 10 career starts already with two wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut two starts back and finished a respectable third, six lengths behind Mohaymen in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on this track January 30 and followed that with another third behind Mohaymen in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes also on this track February 27. He's also had a disappointing fifth in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes here January 2 and consecutive runner-up finishes in minor stakes action - the Smooth Air Stakes November 28 and the Juvenile Sprint Stakes November 7. He won the minor Florida Sire In Reality Stakes on this track October 3 as well. Fellowship has been a tad tough to figure out but has hit the board in five of his last six starts overall. He hopes for his first graded stakes score Saturday when he leaves from gate 2 with Jose Lezcano aboard.
Majesto 20-1 - Gustavo Delgado trained colt has placed in four of five career starts ahead of this weekend - a win, a second and two third place finishes. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday having finally broken maiden last time out - on this track February 27. The win followed a third, a sixth, a second and another third respectively in MSW races. Majesto takes a huge step up in competition in OK form. Javier Castellano gets the call from post 3.
Chovanes 20-1 - has four career starts for trainer Jorge Navarro with one win - that coming in a Maiden Claiming last time out - on this track February 26. Before that were off-the-board finishes in a trio of MSW races in South Florida. Chovanes hadn't looked good before last time out and steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday. Edgard Zayas has the mount from gate 6.
Takeittotheedge 20-1 - will race for just the second time for trainer Dale Romans. His only career start was a good one however - a maiden score on this track March 5. He hopes to make it two straight wins to start his career in a gigantic step up in competition. Takeittotheedge will depart from post 7 with Tyler Gaffalione guiding him.
Fashionable Freddy 30-1 - Nicks Zito trained colt has five career starts with just one win - that coming at Delaware Park in September. He has failed to place in three starts since however - a fifth place finish last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming here February 28 followed consecutive fourths in similar races on this track earlier this year. Fashionable Freddy hopes to bounce back and to make a little noise Saturday when he lines up in gate 8 with Nick Juarez in the reins.
Sawyers Mickey 30-1 - Thomas Amoss trained colt has yet to post a win in his seven race career but does have a runner-up finish and three thirds so far. Last time out was an OK third in the minor John Battaglia Memorial Stakes here March 12 after a fifth and consecutive thirds in MSW races. Sawyer's Mickey will be after his first stakes win but looks as though he will be in over his head in this one. Scott Spieth has been tabbed to ride from the rail.
Isofass 30-1 - Francis Abbott trained colt has a win and a third place finish in four career starts. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday off a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here February 10, a fifth in the minor OBS Championship Stakes January 26 and a maiden score at Laurel Park in December. Isofass looks for his first stakes win in so-so form when he lines up from the outside post 10 with Julien Leparoux aboard.
Copingaway 50-1 - Jaime Mehia trained colt has an astounding 14 starts already with just one win, two seconds and a third place finish. He enters off a ninth in a Starter Optional Claiming here March 26, a sixth in a similar race February 24 and an OK third in a Starter Stakes February 15. He has one graded stakes start - a ninth place finish in the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes on this track in January. Not a whole lot is expected from Copingaway Saturday when he departs from post 5 with Miguel Vazquez in the irons.
2016 Florida Derby Entries & Odds
Race 14 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:48 PM.
|1||Sawyers Mickey||30-1||Scott Spieth||Peter Walder|
|2||Fellowship||15-1||Jose Lezcano||Stanley Gold|
|3||Majesto||20-1||Javier Castellano||Gustavo Delgado|
|4||Nyquist||6-5||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|5||Copingaway||50-1||Miguel Vasquez||Jaime Mejia|
|6||Chovanes||30-1||Edgard Zayas||Jorge Navarro|
|7||Takeittotheedge||20-1||Tyler Gaffalione||Dale Romans|
|8||Fashionable Freddy||30-1||Nik Juarez||Nicholas Zito|
|9||Mohaymen||1-1||Junior Alvarado||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|10||Isofass||30-1||Julien Leparoux||Francis Abbott, III|