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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Courtlandt Farms homebred Greatest Honour drew post 7 and was made the 6/5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill ‘n Dale Farm at Xalapa (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
The Florida Derby is a 1 1/8-mile dirt route restricted to 3-year-olds that offers qualifying points along the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) prep series. The winner will receive 100 points, the runner-up 40, with 20 to third and 10 to fourth.
Greatest Honour Powers Home in Fountain of Youth
The Shug McGaughey trainee will attempt to become the first horse in history to sweep all three legs of Gulfstream Park’s prep series. He previously took home January’s Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and February’s Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).
Greatest Honour broke his maiden at fourth asking in his first try over the Gulfstream Park main track last December, then repeated that same success in the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth. The Florida Derby marks his first try going beyond 1 1/16 miles, but McGaughey believes further distance will benefit the late-running Tapit colt.
“He’s won twice down here now in stakes doing what he doesn’t want to do, and that’s a mile and 1/16,” McGaughey said following the Fountain of Youth. “Hopefully as we keep going longer, he’ll keep improving. The farther, the better for him.”
Spielberg “Doing Well,” Greatest Honour “Plenty Fit” For Florida Derby
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sends the second choice Spielberg (4/1, post 10) from his California base to make the barn’s inaugural Florida Derby attempt. Winner of last December’s Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), the Union Rags colt with the $1 million auction price tag was most recently second in February’s Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park behind Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Essential Quality.
“He ran well at Arkansas (in the Southwest),” Baffert said. “Broke horribly, came on, and ran second. He wasn’t going to beat the winner. … Once in a while, he’ll run a flat race. He’s doing well and I think he will like the mile and 1/8. He sort of comes running, but he’s got to ship well and behave himself, and he’s got to break well. He can’t break like he did the last time.”
Favored in the 2012 Florida Derby, Union Rags finished third and eventually won the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Here is the full field for the Florida Derby:
The Florida Derby is 1 of 10 stakes worth a combined $1.85 million on Saturday’s Gulfstream Park card, including the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), a Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep race offering the same points payout to the 3-year-old fillies who complete the top four finishing positions.
Gulfstream Park interviewed several trainers immediately following the post draw. Click on the trainer’s name to view the interview in a new window:
The Inside Track to the Florida Derby Wagering Guide will be available for pre-sale soon and is included with all monthly premium subscriptions.
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