Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:05 PM
A11 - Florida Derby
Welcome to “Anthony’s Eleven,” your source for anything and everything leading up to Kentucky Derby 144 on May 5th at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In the coming weeks, Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years’ Run for the Roses on VegasInsider.com, culminating on Friday, May 4th with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 4th and May 5th, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year.
Anthony's Eleven (3/31/18)
|Anthony's Eleven (3/31/18)|
Two Kentucky Derby preps worth 100 points to the winner will be run approximately nine hours and a half a world apart on Saturday. We’ll focus our attention, for the most part, on the G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream where a field of nine will go 1 1/8 miles chasing a $1 million purse. Audible is your 9-5 morning line favorite for Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez.
A New York-bred son of Into Mischief, Audible ran against fellow state-breds in his first two starts, his debut sprinting and his maiden score at a mile in his second start. He closed out his juvenile season with a near 10-length tally in an off-the-turf race over just three rivals at Aqueduct.
After weather forced the postponement of a couple of Aqueduct stakes, Pletcher sent for Audible and prepared him for the G2 Holy Bull in early February at his Palm Beach Downs winter headquarters. Sitting in behind a solid early pace, Audible made a big move on the far turn and exploded to win by over five lengths. He sports five workouts since that score for what will be his first start in eight weeks and will break from post 8.
The first two finishers from the G2 Fountain of Youth, Promises Fulfilled and Strike Power, will renew their rivalry in here after running one-two around the Gulfstream oval last out.
Trained by Dale Romans, Promises Fulfilled came out of his third-place finish in G2 KJC at Churchill last fall with a minor injury that caused his erratic stretch run. Prior to the KJC he had won both of his starts sprinting.
Off of a three-month layoff, Romans instructed Irad Ortiz, Jr. to let him rip from his outside draw and after getting hustled away from the gate, Promises Fulfilled was able to set an easy half-mile and hold off a far-turn bid of Strike Power to win by just over two lengths. Robby Albarado, his pilot in his first two wins, returns to the saddle from post 4. Romans will also send out Storm Runner from post 5 with Tyler Gaffalione. Off-the-board in the Fountain of Youth, Storm Runner won an allowance/optional claimer two starts back.
Strike Power won his first two starts for trainer Mark Hennig, including the G2 Swale at seven furlongs on the front end then tried rating in his two-turn debut most recently. He lost some ground through the lane but may benefit from a route race under his belt. It will be interesting to see what leading rider Luis Saez does with him from his rail draw. If he’s not willing to let Promises Fulfilled get a loose lead on Saturday, we could see some fireworks on the front end.
Albarado managed to regain his mount on Promises Fulfilled when Irad committed to G2 Remsen winner Catholic Boy for trainer Jonathan Thomas. He’ll break from post 6.
Racing solely on turf before his near five-length Remsen tally, Catholic Boy won his first pair of starts, including the G3 With Anticipation at Saratoga before a solid fourth-place finish in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
In his lone start this year, Catholic Boy had a dream trip in the G3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa but couldn’t get past the pacesetting Flameaway as the 3-5 favorite under Manny Franco, who did nothing to necessitate this rider change. After dealing with Snapper Sinclair last week, the karma police will likely be dealing with this guy this week.
The highly regarded Mississippi gets blinkers for his stakes debut after falling a neck short to Storm Runner las out. Last week’s G2 Louisiana Derby winner Noble Indy foiled him two starts back, his first around two turns. Mark Casse will give Julien Leparoux a leg-up from post 9.
Hofburg turned heads when he broke his maiden in the race prior to the Fountain of Youth. It was just the second start of his career, his first in six months and first around two turns. Under Jose Ortiz, from outside post 11, Hofburg raced wide throughout, made the lead on the turn then held on to win by a half-length. It was impressive enough to lead his Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, usually a conservative sort, to try him here. He’ll break from post 7.
Two longshots round out the Florida Derby field. Tip Sheet, a two-time winner against much cheaper in 10 tries, will break from post 3 with Edgard Zayas for trainer Stanley Gold while Millionaire Runner, who owns just a maiden claiming win in 10 starts for Jaime Mejia will break from post 2 with Jose Batista aboard.
In Dubai, nine are set to go to post in the G2 UAE Derby going about 1 3/16 miles with a purse of $2 million. Godolphin’s Gold Town romped in his two starts over the local course, including the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas in his only two starts on dirt. Beholder’s half-brother Mendelssohn, winner of the B.C. Juvenile Turf, tries conventional dirt for the first time off of a synthetic surface score. Reride ships in for Steve Asmussen having win four of his five starts, including the Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland over Sunland Derby winner Runaway Ghost. Rayya won the G3 UAE Oaks last out and beat the boys in her debut maiden tally.
Prep Play of the Day
The all-in on Noble Indy worked!! Let’s keep it going this week with $100 to win on Audible. Total is $100. Good luck!!!!
Bankroll: plus $518
Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6PM ET on Wednesday and 3-7PM ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 206 or streaming live at horseracingradio.net. He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as a guest on Talking Horses. Follow him on Twitter @thebigastabile