The top three-year-olds of the east coast gathered at Gulfstream Park on Saturday for the $1 million Grade 1 Florida Derby, historically a key race for Triple Crown hopefuls. Ten went to post, with Read the Footnotes sent off as the even-money favorite.
Friends Lake winning the Florida Derby over Value Plus.
Richard Migliore aboard Friends Lake.
Winning jockey Richard Migliore said, "I was pretty confident from about the half-mile when he started pulling me. About the 3/16 pole I opted to ease him out to the middle of the track to get clear. He's got that great, big A.P. Indy stride and he picked it up from there. He was very difficult last time, and he's come a long way."
Second place finisher Value Plus in the post parade. His trainer Todd Pletcher said, "He just got a little tired at the eighth pole. That's probably because I only had one seven-eighths race into him and two five-eighths breezes since then. I had hoped we could win it today, but I think we established ourselves."
Third place finisher The Cliff's Edge in the post parade. His trainer Nick Zito said, "It's a little bittersweet because I really think we could have won. This horse just always runs a good race. He's a legit horse. He runs all day. He will run a mile and a quarter. He just needs a break. Maybe down the road we'll get that break."
Rick Violette, trainer of beaten favorite Read The Footnotes, said, "I have to think his race in the Fountain of Youth did him in today. As much as we tried to overcome it, it obviously didn't work. At the eighth pole it sort of hit him in the face."
Wynn Dot Comma was a narrow winner in the Swale over Eurosilver.
Winning trainer Martin Wolfson said, "Last time was a horrible trip. He was checked three times and he was out of the race. He likes to be in the race all the way, so today when I saw him on top of Chapel Royal I knew we had that one beat."
Jockey Edgar Prado celebrates his 5,000th career victory aboard Wynn Dot Comma. Prado said of the race itself, "The way I figured it in this race, I had two horses to beat. One was a sprinter (Chapel Royal) and one was a closer (Eurosilver). Everything worked out perfect." There was a special ceremony in the winner's circle to commemorate the 5,000th win.
Second place finisher and post time favorite Eurosilver in the post parade. His trainer Nick Zito said, "He is going to fit really perfect in there, he loves the two turns. We got the two races in him, now we've got to go for the gusto." Next out should be the Blue Grass.
Madcap Escapade blew them away in the Forward Gal Stakes.
Capping off Gulfstream's biggest raceday of the season was the Grade 3 Skip Away Handicap for older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. 6-1 shot Newfoundland stalked the pace in third through 3/4 in 1:12.06, then got to the lead and won after a prolonged stretch duel with 15-1 shot Supah Blitz. Supah Blitz drew even at the 1/16 pole but was outfinished in the final strides, losing by 1/2 a length, in a final time of 1:43.26. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 7-5 favorite Bowman's Band in third. Results Chart
Back to Horse-Races.Net main page
|Want to keep up with what's new on this site?|
Sign up for my weekly newsletter here.
On the Forum: