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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed Spielberg has joined the star cast of scheduled starters for the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at Xalapa March 27 at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, the 3-year-old son of Union Rags is scheduled to clash with Holy Bull (G3) and Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Greatest Honour in the 1 1/8-mile stakes that has produced the winners of 60 Triple Crown events.
“We’ll see how he stacks up,” Baffert said Friday.
Spielberg, who is scheduled to breeze Sunday at Santa Anita before shipping to South Florida, finished second behind Eclipse champion Essential Quality in the February 27 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park following a poor start.
“He’s a great-feeling horse,” Baffert said. “He came out of that race in great shape.”
Essential Quality Returns Stronger Than Ever In Southwest
In his 2021 debut, the Kentucky-bred colt stumbled at the start of the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita before finishing fourth behind Baffert-trained winner Medina Spirit.
“He needs to get away from the gate well,” said Baffert of Spielberg’s chances of winning the Florida Derby.
Spielberg had a productive 6-race juvenile campaign in which he finished second in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and third in the American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita before breaking is maiden in his fourth start. He went on to win the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) 2 starts later.
Spielberg Outbobs The Great One In Los Al Futurity
Spielberg was purchased for $1 million at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The colt is owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stable LLC, Golconda Stables, Sienna Farm LLC, and Robert Masterson.
In addition to Greatest Honour and Spielberg, the Florida Derby field is likely to include Collaborate, Known Agenda, Nova Rags, Soup and Sandwich, Papetu, Quantum Leap, Jirafales, and Siglioso.
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