This weekend is the Florida Derby. Not as much cache as the Wood Memorial or Blue Grass, but worth paying attention to as a contender will emerge. In 2006, a little colt by the name of Barbaro rode this Grade I to prominence.
This year’s race isn’t gleaming with big names, but has quality ponies that are ready to prove themselves. First up, running out of the 1 slot is Fierce Wind who simply wins races. His speed figures are nothing to write home about, but a little nudge from the competition could be all he needs to pull this out.
The hype horse is Big Brown running from the other side of the spectrum in the 12 hole. No horse has one from the 12 hole at Gulfstream. His previous wins are fast, but suspect considering the competition and surface.
As I mentioned in the Fountain of Youth, I have my good eye on Elysium Fields. Set up in a favorable position, he could stalk his way around the two turns and step on the gas down the stretch to win this thing. I hoping his last race was not an outlier because he could prove a favorite for the derby if he shines tomorrow.
Speaking of eyes, watch out for Hey
Vern Byrn. He may try to shake loose and steal this, but I think the competition may make him scared stupid. Nistle’s Crunch could prove sweet too.
If I were a betting man, this weekend, I want to ride Elysium Fields so I can afford Spitzer-type luxuries.