Pan American among seven Florida Derby undercard stakes
Also among the main body of 10 in the Pan Am is Wake Forest, a multiple Group 3 winner in Germany who finished sixth in last summer's Arlington Million (G1) in his only U.S. appearance to date. He makes his debut Saturday for trainer Chad Brown.
The $300,000 Honey Fox (G2), for fillies and mares at one mile on turf, features a clash between Sandiva, Tammy the Torpedo, and Lady Lara, all Grade 3 winners in South Florida during the past five months.
Lady Lara captured the My Charmer H. (G3) at Gulfstream Park West in November over Sandiva, and most recently finished second to champion turf mare Tepin in the Endeavour (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. Sandiva subsequently captured the Marshua's River (G3) at Gulfstream and was second in the Royal Delta (G2) on the main track, while Tammy the Torpedo exits a wire-to-wire score in the Suwannee River (G3).
Force the Pass, who impressively won the Belmont Derby (G1) last July, makes his four-year-old debut in the $2000,000 Appleton (G3) at one mile on the turf. The Alan Goldberg trainee has not been out since an upset loss in the Commonwealth Derby (G2) at Laurel in October.
Also in the lineup are Grade 2 winners Long On Value, Divisidero, and Reporting Star, Grade 1-placed All Included, and, Grade 3 scorer Sky Captain.
Photo Call, who captured the Rodeo Drive (G1) at Santa Anita last fall and was a last-out fourth in the Endeavour in her debut for Todd Pletcher, is among a field of nine in the $200,000 Orchid (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/2 miles on the turf. Other leading contenders including the Christophe Clement-trained pair of Crisolles and Maximova.
Valid, runner-up in the Hal's Hope (G2) and Donn H. (G1) earlier in the meet, will be a strong favorite to defeat five rivals in the $150,000 Skip Away (G3) over nine furlongs. The Marcus Vitali trainee was elevated to third in the Gulfstream Park H. (G2) last time.
The likely favorites in the $100,000 Sir Shackleton, a seven-furlong dash for older horses, are Defer Heaven, Anchor Down, and Griff.
(Grand Tito photo: Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)