How to bet the 2019 Florida Derby

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 28th, 2019

A field of 11 sophomores will run 1 1/8 miles on the Gulfstream Park main strip in Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (G1). The Road to the Kentucky Derby points race attracted three of the top-four finishers of the recent Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), as well as some other talented Kentucky Derby hopefuls. FREE Triple Crown PPs courtesy of Brisnet.com! Here is the cast: HIDDEN SCROLL (#1) (5-2) exits a fourth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth when he was making a second lifetime appearance. The Bill Mott-trained son of Hard Spun has brilliant early speed and is a prime contender to take this field all the way on the front end under Javier Castellano. CURRENT (#2) (15-1) was unplaced in his lone prior run on the dirt. The talented son of Curlin drilled a bullet in advance of this one and the Grade 3 turf star could get a share from off the pace at a price. HARVEY WALLBANGER (#3) (15-1) has been first or second in each of his five tries to date. The Kenny McPeek pupil faces much better in this spot, though his consistency surely makes him a threat. Brian Hernandez Jr. retains the mount atop the late-running Holy Bull Stakes (G2) hero. BOURBON WAR (#4) (7-2) was second-best with some trouble in the Fountain of Youth last out. The Mark Henning charge will appreciate the added distance and is a candidate to run them down late with improvement. Holy Bull runner-up EVERFAST (#5) (20-1) offered little in the Fountain of Youth and would be a surprise in the Florida Derby. The son of Take Charge Indy lacks the consistency to back with confidence against this cast. HARD BELLE (#6) (50-1) is grossly overmatched in the field and the Hard Spun colt should find easier spots in which to compete. MAXIMUM SECURITY (#7) (9-2) has run three fields off of their respective hooves from as many races on the surface. The Jason Servis trainee gets a true class test in the Florida Derby and the wildcard New Year’s Day colt could be any kind with leading pilot Luis Saez taking the reins. BODEXPRESS (#8) (30-1) rallied to be a neck second against maiden special weight foes most recently. The maiden bay son of Bodemeister looks to have landed in a very ambitious spot searching for his first victory. Fountain of Youth hero CODE OF HONOR (#9) (3-1) is a major player who is coming into the race off of a pair of bullet morning moves. The Shug McGaughey charge is bred to handle the distance and he will be right there with any kind of improvement under John Velazquez. UNION’S DESTINY (#10) (30-1) was especially wide in the Fountain of Youth when sixth at 94-1 odds. The Kentucky-bred son of Union Rags would be a surprise but might sneak into the top four with a career best. GARTER AND TIE (#11) (15-1) will race without blinkers for the initial time in the Florida Derby. The capable Florida-bred will have to overcome the widest post in a strong field beneath Jeffrey Sanchez for trainer Ralph Nicks. ANALYSIS Hidden Scroll is the swiftest runner in the field and will be on the lead early with a clean break. The unbeaten Maximum Security and longshot Hard Belle both possess sprint speed and will be tracking in the early stages. The pace will be realistic and I expect Hidden Scroll to put that pair away in early stretch and to open up inside the final furlong. I think Bourbon War is the best closer in the field and I will key him underneath in vertical exotics. WAGER $4 Trifecta 1 with 4 with all = $36 $2 Trifecta 1 with all with 4 = $18 $2 Trifecta 4 with 1 with all = $18 $1 Superfecta 1 with 4 with 2,9,10 with all = $24 PHOTO: Code of Honor and jockey John Velazquez (right) hold off the fast-charging Bourbon War under Irad Ortiz Jr. (left) to take the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) on March 2, 2019 (c) Adam Coglianese Photography