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OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Florida Derby goes down this Saturday, April 1 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach Florida. A purse of $1 million and a crucial 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for the first through fourth place finishers will be on the line for three year olds willing to run 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream's dirt track.
A strong field of 11 will take to the track in the Florida Derby - race 14 on Gulfstream's packed Florida Derby Day card. Post time is 6:40 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all 11 combatants for this important and intriguing G1 stakes.
Gunnevera 9-5 - legitimate Kentucky Derby contender has four wins and two second place finishes in eight career starts for trainer Antonio Sano. Last time out was a superb victory on this track in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes March 4 which followed a respectable second behind Irish War Cry and ahead of Classic Empire in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes here February 4, another a terrific win by 5 3/4 lengths in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot November 19, a fifth behind the terrific Classic Empire among others in the G1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 8 and a good eye-opening win with a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in the G2 Saratoga Special August 14. Gunnevera has won three of his last five starts (all three graded stakes) and will try to keep an impressive run going Saturday from the outside post 11. Javier Castellano gets the call on the overwhelming morning line favorite.
Battalion Runner 3-1 - up and coming Todd Pletcher trained colt has two wins and a second place finish in three career starts. He makes his stakes debut Saturday on a two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out February 3 and a maiden score December 31 -both on this very track. He was second in his debut at Belmont Park in June. Battalion Runner has been seriously tending upward ahead of this weekend and will try to keep the roll going from post 9. John Velazquez will be in the reins of the morning line second choice.
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Always Dreaming 4-1 - Todd Pletcher trained colt has placed in all four career starts - two wins, a second and a third place finish. His wins have come in his last two starts - an Allowance Optional Claiming here March 4 and a maiden score at Tampa Bay January 25 - both in dominant fashion. Always Dreaming has improved every time out and looks ready for his step up in competition with John Velazquez guiding him from gate 4.
Three Rules 8-1 - Jose Pinchin trained colt has eight career starts with five wins, a second and a third place finish - all wins at Gulfstream Park. He stepped into graded stakes company for the first time in November and finished an OK sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile after wins in the minor Florida Sire In Reality Stakes by 10 lengths October 1, the Florida Sire Affirmed Stakes September 3, the Florida Sire Dr. Fager Stakes August 6, the minor Birdonthewire Stakes July 2 and a maiden score at first asking in June. He has been decent lately as well - a third last time out in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes March 4 followed a runner-up finish as favorite in the G2 Swale Stakes February 4 - both results on this track. Three Rules was sensational early in his career and has looked good in his last two starts on this track. He shoots for a first graded stakes win Saturday with Luis Saez aboard from gate 10.
State Of Honor 8-1 - Mark Casse trained colt has a win, three seconds and two third place finishes in nine career starts. He made his graded stakes debut February 11 and finished a decent third behind McCracken and Tapwrit after fading in the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay and followed that with another respectable second in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby March 11. He also posted consecutive runner-up finishes in minor stakes action this past winter - in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream January 7 and the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine November 13. Before that was a maiden score at Woodbine and three off-the-board finishes in similar races on that track this past summer. State of Honor has been good lately and will be after a first stakes score Saturday with Julien Leparoux in the saddle from the rail.
Impressive Edge 12-1 - Dale Romans trained colt has two wins in his five career starts. He finished sixth in his first two career starts and finally broke maiden by 4 3/4 lengths- on this track January 15. He followed that with a fourth in the G2 Swale Stakes here February 4 and most recently won an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track March 5. Impressive Edge has been up and down in his career but has won two of his last three starts overall. He tries for a first stakes score Saturday from gate 8 with Corey Lanerie scheduled to ride.
Talk Logistics 30-1 - has five career starts for trainer Edward Plesa with a win, a second and a third place finish. He enters on the heels of consecutive fourths - beaten by a combined 26 1/2 lengths in those races - in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes last time out and in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes February 4 - both on this track. Before that was a third in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes here January 7, a second in the minor Buffalo Man Stakes on this track December 10 and a maiden score at first asking - at Parx in July. Talk Logistics has been just OK so far in his career and will be after his first stakes score Saturday. Joe Bravo rides from gate 2.
Unbridled Holiday 30-1 - has seven career starts for trainer Patrick Biancone with one win, a second and two third place finishes - all on this track. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming March 4 after finally breaking maiden January 16 in his sixth career start. He failed to place in his previous two. Unbridled Holiday steps up in so-so form Saturday and will have Nik Juarez guiding him from post 7.
Coleman Rocky 30-1 - has a win and a third place finish in five career starts for trainer Gustavo Delgado. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off a third in and Allowance Optional Claiming January 29 and a sixth in a similar race December 17 - both on this track. He broke maiden before that at Aqueduct November 19 and failed to place in his fist two. Coleman Rocky has been underwhelming in his career and steps up in less-than-spectacular form. Jose Ortiz has the mount from gate 6.
Quinientos 50-1 - Enrique Sanchez trained gelding has a win and two third place finishes in nine career starts. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished sixth in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes on this track March 4 after a fourth in his stakes debut - the minor Just One More Stakes on this track February 8, a maiden score here December 15, a fourth and a fifth respectively in a pair of MSW races at Gulfstream Park in November. Quinientos has placed in just one of his last five starts overall and will try to make a statement Saturday. Carlos Montalvo will be in the irons from post 5.
Charlie the Greek 50-1 - has 12 career starts already for trainer Mikhail Yanakov with two wins, three seconds and a third place finish. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off a fourth in a Starter Optional Claiming on this track March 24 after three straight runner-up finishes in Claiming races on this track earlier this year. Charlie the Greek takes an enormous step up in competition and looks as though he will be in over his head from post 3. Leonel Reyes rides from post 3.
Race 14 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:40 PM.
|1||State of Honor||8-1||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse|
|2||Talk Logistics||30-1||Joe Bravo||Edward Plesa, Jr.|
|3||Charlie the Greek||50-1||Leonel Reyes||Mikhail Yanakov|
|4||Always Dreaming||4-1||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|5||Quinientos||50-1||Carlos Montalvo||Enrique Sanchez|
|6||Coleman Rocky||30-1||Jose Ortiz||Gustavo Delgado|
|7||Unbridled Holiday||30-1||Nik Juarez||Patrick Biancone|
|8||Impressive Edge||12-1||Corey Lanerie||Dale Romans|
|9||Battalion Runner||3-1||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|10||Three Rules||8-1||Luis Saez||Jose Pinchin|
|11||Gunnevera||9-5||Javier Castellano||Antonio Sano|