Cindy s Horse Racing Website Index
Latest Articles

 Mohawk Million Night
 Woodbine Mile
 Summer & Natalma Stakes
 Prince of Wales Stakes
 Del Mar Futurity Day

horse racing
Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard Forte after winning the Florida Derby

2023 Florida Derby Day

Date: 04/01/2023

The highlight of the Gulfstream Park meeting for Triple Crown season is the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill 'N' Dale Farms at Xalapa, a major prep for the Kentucky Derby worth 100 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series.

Conditions were excellent at the Hallandale Beach oval, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 80's, with the main track fast and the turf going firm. A field of 12 three-year-olds contested this 1 1/8 mile trip on Saturday afternoon, one complete lap of the main track. Forte was sent off as the 3-10 favorite off wins in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), and Fountain of Youth (G2). In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Mage,
horse racing
Forte takes the lead in the stretch in the Florida Derby
fourth in the Fountain of Youth after winning his debut, and 12-1 third choice Fort Bragg, fifth in the San Felipe (G2) after finishing third in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2).

Jockey Joel Rosario sent Fort Bragg to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 23.57. 46.71, and 1:10.63 while pressed by 75-1 Mr. Peeks and stalked by 47-1 Mr. Ripple. Turning for home, Mage, last early under Luis Saez, came out 5 wide to sweep to the front through 1 mile in 1:36.35. However, favorite Forte, 9th early under Irad Ortiz Jr. and 3 wide early, came out for room and rallied to win by a length in 1:49.37. It was another 2 lengths back to 13-1 Cyclone Mischief third.

horse racing
Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place   Show
 11  Forte              Ortiz         2.60    2.20   2.10
  4  Mage               Saez                  3.40   2.60
  9  Cyclone Mischief   Castellano                   3.20

Winning Time:  1:49.37

$1 Exacta 11-4                 3.90
$1 Trifecta 11-4-9            13.90
$1 Superfecta 11-4-9-8       111.80 
Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Forte in the winners circle. Winning owner Mike Repole said, "I knew it was going to be a big test for him. I didn't mind him having the 11 post because I think I run 20 in the derby. I thought he got an incredible education. I, too, at the eighth pole was saying, we're going to get second or third, and he just kept going and going and going. Right now Forte is pretty far ahead of the 3-year-old crop. Irad is pretty far ahead of the jockey crop right now. I mean, he is just riding at a level, I'm telling you right now. This is like Michael Jordan in his prime right now."

Right: Forte heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "I thought in the end was spectacular. I was worried when the draw came out getting post 11. We know statistically a really big disadvantage going a mile and an eighth here at Gulfstream. Just concerned about that. The main thing we wanted to focus on, we talked to Irad before the race, is just stick to your game plan, keep riding him like you've been riding him. Let's not overthink the post too much. And, you know, thankfully the horse just kept responding."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Forte in the paddock before the race.

Right: Forte in the post parade. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who won 6 races on the card said, "I know he can go. I have a lot of confidence in him, but I don't want to just give him too much. Just keep asking, keep asking. Let him find his stride, but at the same time I'm kind of, like, rush him a little bit. He wasn't responding so well, to be honest, but going to the quarter pole he give me a great finish. He jump on the bit, and I think he was ready because I ask him all the way. I make him give into me. I think that Todd did a great job because he was 100% today."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Owner Mike Repole and his family post with Forte after winning the Florida Derby.

Right: The trophy presentation for the Florida Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher added, "He came by me at the eighth pole, and he looked beaten. Then if you would have told me at that point that he was going to win by a length with his ears pricked, I would have said, no, couldn't do that. So pretty impressive performance."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Mage returns after the race. Gustavo Delgado Jr., assistant to his father, trainer Gustavo Delgado Sr. said, "We expected a better break from the gate. That was key. It happened again; it can't happen in a race like the Derby. Other than that, what else can you ask? Good thing is [jockey Luis] Saez didn't panic, so he didn't force him. He let him get his stride. He made a move and I thought he was getting home. He might have gotten tired but, remember, it's still his third race. How many races did it take Forte to get to the level he is?"

Right: Third place finisher Cyclone Mischief walks over before the race. Trainer Dale Romans said, "I thought he ran a beautiful race. I thought he put himself where he needed to be, I thought Javier [Castellano] rode him well. I think it's on to Churchill. I thought today he looked like he handled [the distance] fine. The pace scenario might be a little different going 1 1/4 miles. It might even be better for him." Jockey Javier Castellano added, "He ran really good. I had a little bit of a wide trip but there's nothing you can do with the nine hole. I couldn't save any ground but I liked the way he did it. He fight all the way to the top of the stretch. I think he was just third-best today. He got a good foundation and hopefully it will pay off."



horse racing The distaff counterpart to the Florida Derby is the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) presented by FanDuelTV at 1 1/16 miles, worth 100 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Oaks Championship Series for 3-year-old fillies. Rachel Alexandra (G2) runner-up Miracle was sent off as the lukewarm 2-1 favorite in the field of 8. In to challenge her included 9-4 second choice Atomically, third in the Forward Gal (G3), and 4-1 third choice Dorth Vader, winner of the Davona Dale (G2).

Jockey Edgard Zayas sent 30-1 Flakes to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.73, 47.63, and 1:11.37 while pressed by 8-1 Infinite Diamond and stalked by Dorth Vader. Turning for home, Dorth Vader gained a short lead through 1 mile in 1:37.97 but 17-2 Affirmative Lady, 4th early under Luis Saez, came out 4 wide and rallied to win by 2 lengths over late-running 9-1 Sacred Wish in 1:44.69. It was a head back to pacesetter Flakes third, while favorite Miracle raced in 5th and failed to rally finishing 5th beaten 6 1/2 lengths.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Affirmative Lady heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Graham Motion said, "When she broke her maiden here five weeks ago, I thought it was really impressive and the timing was good. I think she really wants to go further. I think she'll really appreciate a mile and an eighth, to be honest."

Right: The trophy presentation for the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Winning jockey Luis Saez said, "I'm thrilled, extremely happy. Graham always does a great job with his horses, and that gave me a lot of confidence she would have the stamina at the end. She demonstrated she has a great future and a very good chance to win the Kentucky Oaks. She's versatile and knows how to settle nicely, which says a lot about her potential going longer."

horse racinghorse racing Left: Affirmative Lady in the post parade. Saez added, "The plan with her was to try to break good, get close and save ground. When we were ready, she kept going. I had a lot of horse. Graham did an amazing job with her. She did great. She ran huge."

Right: Affirmative Lady parades after the race.



horse racing Immediately before the Florida Derby, a field of 8 older horses contested the $150,000 Appleton Stakes at 1 mile on the turf. Canadian Turf (G3) runner-up Steady On was sent off as the 9-5 favorite over 3-1 Fort Washington, third in the Canadian Turf and Tropical Park Derby, and 5-1 Gray's Fable, second in an allowance last out.

Jockey Luis Saez sent 13-1 Churchtown to the lead through fractions of 24.22, 47.52, and 1:10.42 while pressed by 8-1 Striker and stalked by 61-1 Roaring Forties. Turning for home CHurchtown continued to lead but favorite Steady On, 4th early under Irad Ortiz Jr., came out 4 wide and rallied to win by 1/2 a length in 1:34.49. It was another 2 lengths back to Fort Washington third.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Steady On in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "He got a beautiful trip, a ground-saving trip, and kicked on nicely. It worked out kind of how we talked before the race. He's a warrior. He shows up every time, and he even ran well a couple of times when they took it off the turf onto the synthetic. He just shows up and gives you a good effort every time."

Right: Owner Mike Repole and his family pose with Steady On after the race. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "Difficult to feel better than I do when winning in front of my family and so many dear ones that support me at all times. It's been an incredible afternoon, and hopefully there's still more to come."



horse racing The $150,000 Orchid Stakes (G3) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/2 miles on the turf. Preis von Europa (G1) third place finisher Amazing Grace was sent off as the 6-5 favorite over 5-2 Personal Best, winner of the La Prevoyante (G3), and 7-2 Transient, third in The Very One (G3). Jockey Edgard Zayas sent Transient to the front first time by through fractions of 24.53, 49.58, 1:13.69, and 1:39.07 while pressed by 52-1 Lady Arsinoe and stalked by 11-1 Atomic Blonde and 20-1 Viburnum. Turning for home Atomic Blonde moved up to lead through 10f in 2:03.98. Amazing Grace, 7th early under Joel Rosario, came out 3 wide into the lane and rallied to win by 1/2 a length over Personal Best in 2:28.82. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Atomic Blonde third.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Amazing Grace in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Christophe Clement (who also trains third place finisher Atomic Blonde) said, "I'm not sure there are that many races I've won eight times. I'm not sure what that means. I'm getting old. That's what it means. She's been training well. They've [Amazing Grace and third-place finisher Atomic Blonde] have been training together. We were excited to see them run. It's a good story. Everybody's happy. They were very good purchases."

Right: Amazing Grace in her winner's blanket. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, "First time riding her, she closed well and I had a lot of confidence in her because of her class, although I didn't expect it to be this close. I had not had the chance to work with her previously, but I'm glad it all worked out at the end. I tried to bide my time and not move too early considering all of that."



horse racing A field of 7 older horses contested the $150,000 Ghostzapper Stakes (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) third place finisher Simplification was sent off as the 6-5 favorite over 2-1 First Captain, 5th in the Fayette (G2), and 3-1 O'Connor, 11th in the Pegasus World Cup (G1). Jockey Jose Ortiz sent 7-1 Surly Furious to the lead through fractions of 24.38, 48.79, and 1:12.22 while pressed by O'Connor and stalked by 21-1 Clapton. Turning for home Surly Furious tired as Clapton gained the lead through 1 mile in 1:36.69. Kept to task by Emisael Jaramillo, Clapton outfinished O'Connor to win by 1/2 a length in 1:42.94. It was a long 3 3/4 lengths back to Surly Furious third, while favorite Simplification raced in 4th early and tired late to finish 5th beaten 10 1/4 lengths.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Clapton returns after the race. Brian Cohen, racing manager for winning owner Arindel said, "I'm just so happy for the horse and everyone that works with the horse. He just ran such a good race. He's been running against such tough horses all winter, and he ran a big one. [Brethren, sire] has given us everything. He's given us runners long, short, turf. [They're all] just runners. They want to run. He's been great. Clapton, race after race, he just tries his hardest."

Right: Clapton heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Emisael Jaramillo said, "A graded-stakes win for Arindel, connections that thank God have supported me for a long time; I love this horse, I went to the barn several times to request the chance with him again, a horse that I have ridden since he was a baby, since he was a 2-year-old, so I had a lot of faith in him; the homestretch was a mano-a-mano with Irad [Ortiz Jr. aboard O'Connor], the type of race and show fans come to watch. He's a great jockey, a great person and a great friend, and he shook hands and congratulated me after the race."

horse racinghorse racing Left: Second place finisher O'Connor in the post parade.

Right: Third place finisher Surly Furious in the post parade.



horse racing A field of 9 older fillies and mares contested the $100,000 Sand Springs Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on turf. Jockey Paco Lopez sent 6-1 second choice Love in the Air to the lead through fractions of 24.96 and 50.11 while pressed by 23-1 Kahiko and stalked by 15-2 Princess Theorem. On the far turn Kahiko gained the lead through 3/4 in 1:13.84 before tiring, as Love in the Air regained the lead through 1 mile in 1:37.34. 7-10 favorite Marketsegmentation, 7th early under Irad Ortiz Jr., came out 5 wide into the stretch and rallied to win by a neck over Princess Theorem in 1:43.13. It was a length back to Love in the Air third.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Marketsegmentation in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "The pace was a little slow, I was in a tight spot, I didn't want to give up the position. She gave me a good kick then she stayed a little bit there and the other filly kept fighting. I think the slow pace helped the other filly. I never hit her, I showed her the stick and she gave me a good feeling she was going to go by her."

Right: Left: Marketsegmentation in the post parade.



horse racing A field of 8 older horses went 1 1/2 miles on the turf in the $200,000 Pan American Stakes (G2) presented by Rood & Riddle. Mac Diarmida (G2) third place finisher Master Piece was sent off as the 11-10 favorite over 9-2 second choice Therapist, a starter handicap winner last out, and 5-1 third choice Abaan, 9th in the W.L. McKnight (G3).

Jockey Julien Leparoux sent 20-1 Ry's the Guy to the lead through fractions of 23.35, 48.53, 1:13.44, and 1:38.78 while pressed by 15-1 Novo Sol and stalked by Abaan. On the far turn Master Piece, 4th early under Jose Ortiz, moved up to lead through 1 mile in 1:38.78 and 10f in 2:03.40. Therapist, 6th early under Irad Ortiz Jr., came out 5 wide for room and rallied to win by 3/4 length over 8-1 Bay Street Money in 2:29.22. It was another length back to favorite Master Piece third.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Therapist in the winner's circle. Winning owner Michael Dubb said, "This particular 8-year-old is a New York-bred, and I race in New York all summer long. My thought was, I knew he was well taken care of because the previous trainer who is also a trainer of mine is a great caregiver. They decided to move the horse along, and they sold him for a pretty good price. He wound up in a claiming race and I said, 'I think we can win some New York-bred races.' I was never dreaming we would do this. We have conversations about pedigree, and this horse knows his way to the winner's circle; it's his 12th time. The pedigree really screamed long and we said, 'Let's give it a try and see what happens.' Then you have Irad Ortiz as your pilot, and it all comes together."

Right: Therapist heads back to the barn after their race. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "No worries despite the slow start, because that's just what he does. I let him find his stride until the 5/8 pole, and I was hoping to find space on the outside. The two horses in front went wide, so I found the space I was looking for in the 2-3 path, and he responded well. He always does, because his trainer [Mike Maker] is one of the best at these marathon distances."

horse racinghorse racing
Left: Second place finisher Bay Street Money in the paddock before the race. The Mike Maker trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 6 seconds, and 1 third in 18 starts, earning $337,788 for owner Sanford Goldfarb.

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Master Piece in the paddock. The Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 3 seconds, and 3 thirds in 23 starts, earning $517,412 for owners Michael and Julia Iavarone, Nicholas Zoumas, Vape-WH, Frank Argano, and Ten Twenty Racing.



horse racing The $100,000 Sir Shackleton Stakes featured a field of 9 older horses sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Jockey Edwin Gonzalez sent 31-1 longest shot Mish to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 23.14 and 45.07 while pressed by 10-1 Octane and stalked by 16-1 Paco's Pico. Turning for home the pacesetters tired as 2-1 favorite and last year's winner Weyburn, 6th early under Jose Ortiz, came out 6 wide to sweep to lead through 3/4 in 1:09.35, and held off 3-1 second choice Dean Delivers late to win by a neck in 1:22.15. It was another neck back to 13-2 Steal Sunshine third.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Weyburn heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Jimmy Jerkens said, "He certainly had to work for it. It's tough for a horse with his style. There were horses with speed but none with blinding speed. He closed in during the fastest quarter which took a toll on him late. He fought back. He went up against it a little today. I thought it was setting up against him a little bit, but I'm happy he persevered, thank God."

Right: Weyburn heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "He ran a great race in his last outing considering he didn't have a great start, because he's so big, he hardly fits in the gate stall. He's like 18 hands tall as you can see. With four furlongs to go I decided to go for it because he's a lot of horse and you can't be rating him too much. I was a little too wide for my liking, but thank God he was very game today."



horse racing Kicking off the Saturday stakes action was the $100,000 Cutler Bay Stakes featuring 8 three-year-olds going 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Jockey Miguel Vazquez sent 11-1 Drinking Problem to the lead first time by through easy fractions of 25.05 and 48.80 while pressed by 9-4 favorite Harry Time and stalked by 3-1 second choice Behind Enemy Lines. Turning for home Drinking Problem tired allowing Behind Enemy Lines to take over through 7f in 1:24.39. Kept to task by jockey Jose Ortiz, Behind Enemy Lines drew off to win by 2 lengths over late-running 16-1 Anglophile in 1:30.35. It was a neck back to 7-2 third choice Dunedin third, while favorite Harry Time tired late to finish 5th beaten 3 1/2 lengths.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Behind Enemy Lines returns after the race. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "My first victory for Jack Sisterson with a horse coming from his good friend Joseph O'Brien; they thought the colt would be a good fit for Gulfstream because of his natural speed, and he did show it today. I had had the chance to breeze the horse for the race, and I thought he had the talent to accomplish what we did today. All I had to do was to decide whether to go around the horses or between them, and once I did, he provided a great kick."

Right: Behind Enemy Lines in the post parade. Winning trainer Jack Sisterson said, "He trained like he was going to perform this afternoon. All he had to do was bring his works to the afternoon, and we thought it was going to be a big performance. I have to give all the credit in the world to the owners for allowing me to be patient with him. A lot of guys want to get them here and run straight off the plane. But we thought he was a good horse when he arrived [two months ago], and we trained him that way, and it's paid off for them. We might look at the American Turf Stakes on Kentucky Derby day and see if he'll stretch out a bit for those big races. But the owners will make the decision."



horse racing The $100,000 Sanibel Island Stakes featured a field of 9 three-year-old fillies going 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf. 4-1 third choice Aunt Shirley set the pace of 24.16, 48.24, and 1:12.03 while pressed by 20-1 Lady Hamilton and stalked by 33-1 Faccia Bella. Turning for home Aunt Shirley continued to lead through 7f in 1:24.08 but 5-2 second choice Breath Away, last early under Jose Ortiz, came out 6 wide and rallied to win by 2 1/2 lengths over 6-1 Metaphysical in 1:29.90. It was a nose back to 26-1 Mohawk Trail third, and a neck more to 2-1 favorite Love Appeals fourth.

Results Chart from DRF.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Breath Away in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "She showed a good turn of foot the first two times but today was extremely impressive. Today, she showed it better than the last two times. I just sat back there and waited for the right time and when I asked her to go she was there for me."

Right: Breath Away heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Christophe Clement added, "She was impressive, huh?. We always liked her. We ran her on Tapeta last time, that was a question mark. I was a bit disappointed, but today she really exploded."

Photos courtesy of Amber Chalfin of Downthestretchphotos.com.

2022 Florida Derby won by White Abarrio
2019 Florida Derby won by Maximum Security
2018 Florida Derby won by Audible
2017 Florida Derby won by Always Dreaming
2016 Florida Derby won by Nyquist
2015 Florida Derby won by Materiality
2014 Florida Derby won by Constitution
2013 Florida Derby won by Orb
2012 Florida Derby won by Take Charge Indy
2011 Florida Derby won by Dialed In
2010 Florida Derby won by Ice Box
2009 Florida Derby won by Quality Road
2008 Florida Derby won by Big Brown
2007 Florida Derby won by Scat Daddy
2006 Florida Derby won by Barbaro
2005 Florida Derby won by High Fly
2004 Florida Derby won by Friends Lake

Back to Horse-Races.Net main page

Search Horse-Races.Net:


©1994-2023,  Cindy Pierson Dulay   Privacy Policy   About Us   Search   Site Map   Add a Link   Advertisee   Suggest to a friend   RSS Feed   Follow on Twitter