The 53rd Florida Derby
9th at Gulfstream--All carry 122
1. The Cliff's Edge...Sellers...The seemingly endless stable of potentials for Nick Zito will be represented by this son of Gulch. Nice comeback in the Davis at Tampa, which should set him up well for this. The distance won't be an issue. A repeat of the Iriquois effort would get him close, and 2nd off the layoff may leave him at the doorstep.
2. Friends Lake...Migliore...Should be ready for this after debut in Holy Bull. Seemingly had a tough time keeping up, but obviously wasn't 100% cranked for that one. Solid steady works at Payson of late, and the breeding says he'll like it at least this long.
3. Read The Footnotes...Bailey...Ultra-game effort in Fountain. Maybe too game? It certainly couldn't have left much in the tankand with his sprinter pedigree on the sire's side, he could come up just short here. Gets distance from dam-sire so he may or may not care for the distance. If not for the Champagne, he'd be 6 for 6 coming in here. Tough to overlook, for any money position.
4. Tapit...Prado...Won the Laurel futurity impressively but came out with shin problems. Not an issue with the mad genius of the layoff score handling the training chores. Dickinson is winning at a 25% clip 90+ days away, with a positive ROI. No reason to think he won't be a factor.
5. Farnum Alley...Day...Hard to imagine what would have given the connections the green light for this.
6. Sir Oscar...Garcia...Switched to Marty Wolfson after the poor Fountain effort. Before that though, swept the BIG fall 2 yo races at Calder. How would you like to be in Azpurua's shoes? 6 for 7 and you get the horse yanked! In what would qualify as the oxymoron for the day, owned by International Fair Play.
7. Notorious Rogue...Bravo...Pretty solid efforts, but probably overmatched here.
8. Value Plus...Velasquez...This may be the one. Pletcher winning everything in sight here and he comes in 2nd off the layoff after smoking an allowance field on Fountain day. If that effort didn't take too much out of the tank, he could be right there at the wire.
9. Frisky Spider...King...Didn't show much in the Fountain as he didn't get that customary fast start, even with the slow fractions. Post position won't help his cause here either.
10. Smoocher...Santos...Might be better suited to turf. Doubtful he'll make a dent here.
Will Read The Footnotes feel the effects of that tough Fountain effort to the tune of a loss here? He's no lock, but looks very strong. If he aces this, it might be time to start using the "F" word for Louisville. Favoritism that is..
If anyone is going to upset the favorite, The Cliffs Edge looks to be the one. He's never reacted harshly to a previous effort, and if he moves forward here, which looks likely, he could be standing in the winner's circle when the dust settles.
Value Plus will probably react to his last, which should be enough to keep him out of the top two spots.
1. Read The Footnotes
2. The Cliffs Edge
3. Value Plus
Best of luck everyone!