The Florida Derby is likely the final prep for many in this field before the 2015 Kentucky Derby. Upstart and Itsaknockout return to battle again but a field of seven others are stepping up to the plate for their shot at Kentucky Derby points and a share of the $1 million purse. Let’s not waste any more time and get right into it.
Race: Florida Derby (G1)
Distance: Mile and a eighth
Age: 3 Year Olds
Date: Saturday, March 28th 2015
Post Time: 6:48 PM ET
TV Coverage: Can be found on TVG (online) and HRTV
|1||8-1||Ami's Flatter||Castellano||Enters off a career best performance against Carpe Diem in the Tampa Bay Derby finishing 2nd. Also showed some class in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes. Bred to like 9 furlongs and it a threat to continue to improve but this is a tough spot.|
|2||20-1||Jack Tripp||I Ortiz||After maiden victory he has not sure any forward move or maturing trend. Hard to imagine a horse that cannot handle allowance/optional claim races will be able to handle this crop. Ortiz is nice but in over the head here.|
|3||20-1||Indianaughty||Lanerie||Owned by Team Valor (remember Animal Kingdom) and has proven winning form on turf. But laid a dud on the synthetic when shipped to the bay area. Now will try dirt. Does Romans think there is some AK in him? I am not sold but I would not ignore at a price regardless of the field.|
|4||2-1||Itsaknockout||Saez||Still undefeated thanks to the DQ win over Upstart in the Fountain of Youth (still not sure what the stewards saw). He has not done any wrong yet and while I question 10 furlongs, the 9 furlongs of the FD should still be in his wheelhouse. Contender to win off improving form.|
|5||20-1||Quimet||Zayas||Finished 3rd to Materiality last out and frankly had no answer for him. The reality is he is 1-for-5 lifetime with only a maiden claiming win. Put him on top if you hate your money.|
|6||30-1||My Point Exactly||Leyva||Has a dirt win although maiden here at GP. Last start was a turf stakes win in the Sunday Silence Stakes. Rested since Sept and making season debut. Long layoff against a tough field but leave him out of exotics at your own risk.|
|7||7-2||Materiality||Velazquez||Could not be more interesting. Very impressive in two career starts, both visually stunning wins including a stakes, here at GP. Obviously there is the experience issue but this one oozes talent. Must finish 1st or 2nd to make the Kentucky Derby. Velazquez will have him in a good spot.|
|8||30-1||Dekabrist||Rios||Has not found the board in what feels like a lifetime. Has regressed after two wins to open career. Plain and simple.. He does not belong.|
|9||8-5||Upstart||J Ortiz||My No. 3 ranked Kentucky Derby contender crossed the line over 2 lengths ahead of Itsaknockout in the Fountain Of Youth but was subject to DQ which I still could not see. Impressive in every start. Despite two undefeated in here, he is still the deserving favorite. This mature one is the one to beat this weekend and possibly in May. Ignore if you hate maturity and money.|
Florida Derby Breakdown and Betting
The Florida Derby is being sold as a rematch of Itsaknockout and Uptart. This makes perfect marketing sense for the track and the sport based on the finish of the Fountain of Youth where Upstart was victim of a DQ and turned the win over to Itsaknockout. With that result, Itsaknockout stayed undefeated but is still a notch below Upstart in my book.
Upstart brings a maturity to the race that is not present in the rest of the field. Look at it this way, many predicted a bounce from Upstart in the Fountain of Youth, and while not at his best, he won clear by two despite the “official result.” Clearly it is not a forgone conclusion that Upstart will win but it is his to lose.
One knock against him is getting post nine. Depending on how Materiality, Dekabrist and Jack Tripp break, he could be forced to a four-path spot in the turn or fall back to a comfortable spot four lengths off the lead. Since we are not talking about being post 19 and getting crushed, he should be able to overcome a slight disadvantage.
Pletcher’s army of Itsaknkockout and Materiality will eventually face a blemish on the form in the Florida Derby since both cannot win (I know…I know…dead heat). But of the two, who is better. I would actually lean towards the press/pace of Materiality over Itsaknockout but at this point in their careers that is based more on expected step forward over current form.
Two horses of remote interest, based on estimated post-time odds are Indianaughty and My Point Exactly. I know they are 20-1 and 30-1 respectively but both warrant a look for the exotics, if not on top, if you are avoiding the chalk. The former has the quaint Animal Kingdom angle to look at (but Animal Kingdom did win over synthetic instead of laying a dud) and Romans sees something. The latter knows the track. Clearly a step up would be required and off a six-month layoff that is asking a lot but if you get a stakes winner, albeit on turf, at odds of 30-1 or greater in a Kentucky Derby prep when all horses are still “finding themselves,” that is hard to completely ignore.
Below are some betting options for the race. You can take all, some or none but I wanted to give you some combinations that just make come true when making your 2015 Florida Derby picks. Remember the morning line odds for the Florida Derby are suggestions/opinions and frankly nothing more. As always if you are struggling to raise a couple of dollars to make a bet, please don’t. Pay a bill, which is more important. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. On to my win picks, predictions, and betting strategies for the 2015 Florida Derby at Gulfstream.
Live Longshot-Bomb at a Price – My Point Exactly
|$1 Exacta Box||6 with 7 with 9|
|$1 Trifecta Box||6 with 7 with 9|
|$1 Exacta Box||6 with 7 with 9|
|$ 1 Trifecta||7,9 with 3,6,7,9|
|$3 Win/ Place||9|
|$1 Exacta Box||3 with 6 with 7 with 9|
|$ 1 Trifecta||6,7,9 with 3,6,7,9|
|$3 Win/ Place||6|
|$3 Win/ Place||9|
|$10. Superfecta||6,7,9 with 3,4,6,7,9|