The only major Derby prep race this weekend is on Sunday. It’s the $1,000,000 Gr.1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream run at 1 1/8 mile, the 10th race on the card, Post Time scheduled for 6:20pm. I’ll be making my maiden voyage to Gulfstream Park on Sunday to witness this premier south Florida horse racing event.
To top off the weekend, Pimlico is hosting a “Love is a Gamble” for Singles 35 and over on Sunday. For more information, visit www.pimlico.com. Since I’m not eligible, I decided to scratch an item off my Bucket List and attend the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park (Hallandale, FL), making a “day trip” from Baltimore to Ft. Lauderdale. Sunday’s blog will have my humble opinion on this race.
Recapping Day 2 (Saturday, April 2nd) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet D Day (# 5; 10th race; M/L 5-2; P/T 2-1) had a perfect stalking trip as the 3-2 favorite (Lily Quatorze) and two other foes set the early pace. When they turned for home it was D Day who moved the swiftest and took command throught the stretch, drawing off to a 5 length victory, payoff $6.20 to WIN, $3.40 PLACE and $2.60 SHOW.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 2 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 1 WIN – 0 PLACE – 1 SHOW.
Longshot Direct Assault (# 2; 2nd race; M/L 6-1; P/T 3-1) was well backed at the betting windows has his odds were cut in half .Showing no early foot, he gamely picked off horses in the stretch, proved to be just second best as the winner went wire-to-wire setting slow fractions. Direct Assault paid $4.60 PLACE and $3.40 SHOW
Longshot pick scorecard from 2 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 0 WIN – 1 PLACE – 0 SHOW
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $22 on Gimmesomeaction / Kate’s Dance Card (# 1/1A; 4th race; M/L 1-1; P/T 1-2) this duo did exactly has hoped, finishing 1st and 3rd. Therefore, instead of 3 betting interests being paid off for the SHOW, it’s just two, which typically yields a decent SHOW price for the coupled entry. Unfortunately a number of other bettors had the same idea as this entry had about 70% of the SHOW pool covered. So the SHOW payoff was the minimum $2.10 while the WIN payoff was $3.00 and PLACE bettors got $2.20. At least it’s a win (5% or $1.10 profit) and the SHOW parlay lives on for Sunday.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 3 (Sunday, April 3rd) …
Soup Of The Day: Vegetable Beef (and Chili)
Best Bet: Lady In The Money (# 10; 5th race on the turf; 6-1)
This 5 year old VA bred appears to be the lone speed in a 5 furlong sprint on the Pimlico grass course. She loves the turf and has hit the board in 4 of her 6 starts at this distance. Hard to believe she’ll go off at odds higher than 4-1, but one can always dream.
Longshot: Frankie Says Relax (# 6; 4th race; 5-1)
The trainer / jockey combo of John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell has started this meet on fire and “Frankie” might be another “ready to fire” runner. He raced this winter in south Florida at Calder and more recently Gulfstream facing better than he will in here. Takes the neceaasry drop in class to get diploma (i.e. maiden victory).
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $103.10 ($100 bankroll – $22 wager + $23.10 return)
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $23 on Stollen (# 10; 9th race on the turf; 3-1) Graham Motion is one of the better, up and coming turf trainer on the East Coast. He gets Jeremy Rose to pilot this guy in a full field, so IF he has a top 3 finish, the SHOW pay-off should be closer to the 50% ROI neighborhood.
The cream of the 3 year old crop have been racing all winter at Gulfstream Park, and the Florida Derby features the largest group of legitimate Kentucky Derby contenders to date to run in a Derby prep race. Considering the Kentucky Derby is just five (5) weeks away, this will be the final race prior to the Derby. Those who desperately need graded stakes earnings to crack to Top 20, which determines who gets in if more than 20 are entered, must put in the best effort now as it’s now or never.
A group of eight (8) will break from the starting gate with #1 – Soldat the 9-5 Morning Line favorite. He’s won both of his 3 year old starts impressively on the front end, but today will have plenty of company early on from the likes of #2 – To Honor And To Serve (9-2), #5 – Shackleford (20-1) and #8 – Flashpoint (4-1). Of these, the latter 2 are likely to fade. Flashpoint convincingly won the 7 furlongs Hutcheson Stakes in his last race, but his pedigree lacks the stamina to go 9 furlongs and Shackleford threw-in the towel early in the Fountain Of Youth, but he was extremely “washed out” during the Post Parade that day, so he could rebound. Late runners like #4 – Bowman’s Causeway (20-1), #6 – Stay Thirsty (8-1) and #7 – Dialed In (5-2) should make their presence known as the field enters the stretch. Stay Thirrsty could show the biggest improvement as he makes only his second start of 2011 (won G3 Gotham @ Aqu on March 5th) and adds Blinkers for this race in order to keep him focused on the task at hand.
Go with #7 – Dialed In on top. He should greatly benefit from what promises to be very quick early fractions and be able to unleash his awesome late kick in the stretch to pass the front runners and prevail, stamping himself as the clear #2 choice (behind Uncle Mo) leading up to the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. He does carry 6 more lbs. than he did in his previous two races, which is always a concern going long, but if he’s the “special horse” that I believe he is, he’ll be able to overcome it. For an exacta, trifecta and/or superfecta play, also use #1 – Soldat, #2 – To Honor And To Serve, #4 – Bowman’s Causeway (20-1) and “The Most Interesting Horse in the World” #6 – Stay Thirsty “My Friend”’ (8-1).
2011 Derby Prep race Scoreboard
Date Prep Race GQ’s Pick Order of Finish
Jan. 30th Holy Bull Dialed In Dialed In, Sweet Ducky, Gourmet Dinner
Feb. 5th Whirlaway Preachintothedevil Toby’sCorner,JJ’s Train,Preachintothedevil
Feb. 12th Sam F. Davis Beamer Brethren, Too Experience, Watch Me Go
Feb. 12th Robert B. Lewis Tapizar Anthony’s Cross, Riveting Reason, Quail Hill
Feb. 12th El Camino Real Positive Response Silver Medallion,Jakesam,PositiveResponse
Feb. 19th Risen Star Santiva MuchoMachoMan,Santiva,RogueRomance
Feb. 20th San Vicente Sway Away TheFactor,SwayAway,PremierPegasus
Feb. 26th Hutcheson Black N Beauty Flashpoint,TravelinMan,LittleDrama
Feb. 26th Fountain of Youth Bowman’s Causeway Soldat,GourmetDinner,ToHnrAndServe
Mar. 5th Gotham Stay Thirsty StayThirsty,NormanAsbjornson,TobyCorner
Mar. 12th Palm Beach (turf) Ari C JoesBlazingAaron,Queen’splatekitten,Newsdad
Mar. 12th Tampa Bay Derby Beamer WatchMeGo,CrismsonKnight,Brethren
Mar. 12th San Felipe Jaycito Premier Pegasus,Jaycito,Bench Points
Mar. 19th Rebel Sway Away The Factor,Caleb’s Posse, Archarcharch
Mar. 26th Vinery Farm Spiral Animal Kingdom AnimalKingdom,DeciMomnt,Twnspired
Mar. 26th Louisiana Derby Left PantsOnFire,Zehro,MuchoMachoMan
Mar. 26th Sunland Derby Astrology TwiceTheAppeal,Astrology,RulerOnIce
Apr. 3rd Florida Derby Dialed In
Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend.