Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index

Big Weekend of Derby Preps


Harlan's Holiday winnter of the 2002 Florida Derby.
Date: 03/12/2003

This weekend is an important one in the Triple Crown Trail with five preps scheduled. On Saturday are the $1 million Florida Derby and the Swale Stakes both at Gulfstream. Then on Sunday you have The Gotham at Aqueduct, the Tampa Bay Derby, and the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. This year the Gotham will be run at 1 mile 70 yards on the inner dirt track instead of the traditional 1 mile on the main track, making it a two turn race instead of just a one turn. Due to the severe winter weather this year, Aqueduct has postponed moving to the main track indefinitely.

Here is the field for the Florida Derby (G1):

PP HORSE WT TRAINER JOCKEY Odds
1 Trust N Luck 122 Ralph Ziadie Cornelio Velasquez 2-1  
2 Supah Blitz 122 Manny Tortora Rosemary Homeister Jr. 8-1  
3 Midway Cat 122 Rick Hiles Jorge Chavez 5-1  
4 Indy Dancer 122 Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 10-1  
5 Senor Swinger 122 Mickey Goldfine Edgar Prado 6-1  
6 Empire Maker 122 Bobby Frankel Jerry Bailey 9-5  
7 Formal Attire 122 Phil Serpe Eibar Coa 12-1  

As you can see, this is a top notch field of legitimate Triple Crown contenders. For more news items on the Florida Derby, check Gulfstream Park's Florida Derby page. You can get free past performances for the race from DRF. Post time for the Florida Derby is 4:15pm EST and the race will be televised on ESPN2 from 4:00 - 4:30pm as part of the Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby series.

Also on the card at Gulfstream is the Swale Stakes (G3) at 7 furlongs, scheduled as the 11th race. Although it is unlikely a horse will come from this to go on to the Kentucky Derby, it does happen occasionally. Free past performances are available here from DRF. Here is the field for the Swale Stakes:

PP HORSE WT TRAINER JOCKEY Odds
1 Roaring Fever 116 Mark Hennig Eibar Coa 15-1  
2 Eagle Eyrie 116 Nick Zito Mark Guidry 20-1  
3 Posse 120 Steve Asmussen Donnie Meche 4-1  
4 First Blush 120 Allen Jerkens Jorge Chavez 12-1  
5 Massive 116 James Hatchett Pat Day 6-1  
6 Midas Eyes 116 Bobby Frankel Jerry Bailey 5-1  
7 Conservation 116 Barclay Tagg Jose Santos 3-1  
8 Whywhywhy 122 Patrick Biancone Edgar Prado 2-1  

The second most important race of the weekend is the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. This 1 1/16 mile prep has also come up very deep with several serious contenders entered. Post time is 2:33 PST and the race will be televised on ESPN2 from 4:30-6:00pm EST along with the Gotham Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby. Free past performances are available online from DRF. Here is the field for the San Felipe:

PP HORSE WT TRAINER JOCKEY Odds
1 Man Among Men 116 Gary Mandella Alex Solis 3-1  
2 Flirt With Fortune 116 James Chapman Corey Nakatani 30-1  
3 Buckland Manor 116 Paco Gonzalez Mike Smith 15-1  
4 Siberland 119 Kevin Lewis Tyler Baze 15-1  
5 Buddy Gil 119 Jeff Mullins Gary Stevens 12-1  
6 Domestic Dispute 122 Bob Baffert Jerry Bailey 2-1  
7 Atswhatimtalknbout 116 Ron Ellis David Flores 5-2  
8 Brancusi 116 Patrick Biancone Tony Farina 20-1  
9 Ten Cents a Shine 116 D. Wayne Lukas Pat Valenzuela 10-1  
10 Logician 116 Craig Dollase Kent Desormeaux 30-1  

The $200,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct is usually a stronger prep than it has turned out this year. The exceptionally bad winter in New York has forced them to stay on the inner track and change the race to 1 mile 70 yard over two turns instead of the traditional one turn mile. While this makes it appear to be a better prep race, apparently most of the top contenders don't want to race on the inner track as none showed up for this race. Perhaps one of these will step up and become a serious contender after this race as it is historically significant on the Triple Crown Trail. The race is scheduled for 4:50pm EST and will be part of the ESPN2 telecast with the San Felipe and Tampa Bay Derby. Free past performances are available online from DRF. Here is the field for the Gotham:

PP HORSE WT TRAINER JOCKEY Odds
1 Midnight Charlie 116 Leah Gyarmati Heberto Castillo Jr. 20-1  
2 Grey Comet 120 Gary Contessa Aaron Gryder 6-1  
3 Alysweep 120 Pat Reynolds Richard Migliore 8-1  
4 Mustbinthefrontrow 116 John Scanlan Ryan Fogelsonger 20-1  
5 Spite the Devil 116 Allen Jerkens Mike Luzzi 6-1  
6 Torre and Zim 116 Richard Dutrow Jr. Norberto Arroyo Jr. 12-1  
7 Max Forever 116 Ben Perkins Jr. Javier Castellano 15-1  
8 Colita 116 Tim Ritchey Shaun Bridgmohan 3-1  
9 Gimmeawink 120 Jen Pedersen Tony Black 4-1  
10 New York Hero 116 SCRATCH Luis Castillo 12-1  
11 Cherokee's Boy 120 SCRATCH Ryan Fogelsonger 8-1  

The $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G3) will also be on Sunday and there are a couple of minor Triple Crown contenders in the race who are part of the Derby Future Bet this weekend. Overall it isn't a very strong field and is mostly horses hoping for a soft spot to try and break through into the top ranks. Historically, the race has turned up a few "wise guy" Kentucky Derby picks but rarely has any real impact. Post time is 5:18 EST and it is also part of the ESPN2 broadcast with the San Felipe and Gotham Stakes. Free past performances are available online from DRF. Here is the field for the Tampa Bay Derby:

PP HORSE WT TRAINER JOCKEY Odds
1 Fast Eddue D 116 Linda Gibson Martin Ramirez 20-1  
2 Cajun Beat 118 Cam Gambelati Gary Boulanger 10-1  
3 White Buck 120 Jerry Paradise Roger Velez 10-1  
4 Strength Within 116 Thomas Proctor Mark Guidry 7-2  
5 Popular Groom 118 Bill Mott Joey Judice 5-1  
6 Aristocat 118 Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 4-1  
7 Hear No Evil 123 Kenneth Decker Manoel Cruz 6-1  
8 Freedom Lane 118 SCRATCH Russell Woolsey 20-1  
9 Region of Merit 120 Christophe Clement Eibar Coa 5-2  

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