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Homeracing

Predicteform Living In a Materiality World For Florida Derby Pick

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TwinSpires Staff

March 28th, 2015

by DANNY ZUCKER

The Grade I Florida Derby is run at 9 furlongs at Gulfstream Park, just north of Miami, Florida for a purse of $1mm USD. In its 63rd year, the Florida Derby is an important race towards the road to the Kentucky Derby as the first and second place finishers are guaranteed a spot in the Derby starting gate on the first Saturday in May. Here is the current Road to the Derby point standings with the Top 50 Derby eligible horses.

Here are the Pace Figures for the Florida Derby; for Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances of all Kentucky Derby prep races this weekend, click here.

To place a wager on the Florida Derby via Twinspires, click here.

Ami's Flatter (8/1)

An improving horse, Ami's Flatter draws the rail and picks up leading jockey Javier Castellano, both considered positives. He ran a closing second in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby, beaten handily by Carpe Diem who ran one of the better Derby preps this spring, (in our opinion, as he ran a final/4f figure of 77.6.76.6).

His Pace Figures have the looks of a runner who has established a foundation as seen by the tight range of his lifetime final figures from 72.4-74.4. The 74.4/73.3 COMP and 72.4/78.5 NPT positive patterns in his first two career starts followed by consistent final figures with a more compressed 4f figure and tighter dirt spreads, show a runner who is improving.



The Play: Contender – lots to like with positive jockey and post combined with solid figures make for a value play underneath.

Jack Tripp (20/1)

1 for 7 lifetime with no graded stakes appearances put Jack Tripp at a huge disadvantage in this field. His lifetime top of 72.7 happened as a two year-old and he's regressed since.



The Play: Too Slow

Indian Naughty (20/1)

Indian Naughty is the only runner in the field to try both grass and synthetic surfaces. Though he finished last in the grade III El Camino Real losing to Metaboss who just ran sixth in the Spiral Stakes (75/70.5), the transition to dirt makes for a deeper look.

His dam, Be Fair (mom), made $300k lifetime running against the best mares in 2009 and 2010 including the legends Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Be Fair had a front running style and was in the money two of three times at 9 furlongs. Since Indian Naughty is the first runner from this dam, the idea of a forward move on dirt stretching out is not out of the question.

His Pace Figures are certainly slower than the top group but the 69.1 Reversal (REV) Pattern is a positive indicator. Lastly, the ownership group of Team Valor (Barry Irwin) is never fearful of taking a shot and campaigned Animal Kingdom to an amazing racing career.



The Play: Longshot – this horse will improve, just a question of whether he can make the jump to Grade I competition.

Itsaknockout (2/1)

A distant second in the Fountain of Youth, Itsaknockout received a gift of a lifetime being elevated to the win position after the disqualification of Upstart. It's not often that you see a second place horse lose by three lengths and moved up to first in a three year-old graded stakes race. One of two trained by leading trainer Todd Pletcher, he is 3 for 3 at Gulfstream Park.

From a Pace Figure perspective his last race was only 66.9, but all the times for dirt races on Fountain of Youth day were 2-3 seconds slow (as the track was cuppy – think suction cup), making for decreased Pace Figures. Even with a 4-5 point upward adjustment he is showing regression off the 74.6 DTOP Pattern.



The Play: Regressor – headed the wrong way and at a morning-line of just 2-1, there is nothing to like about him.

Quimet (20/1)

A winner of one race in five lifetime starts, Quimet makes a massive jump to Grade I competition. And though he is off the strongest positive pattern of a New Pace Top, his final figures are not competitive.



The Play: Too Slow – and that's that.

My Point Exactly (30/1)

Coming off a 203 day layoff to run against Grade I horses is a monumental task. Though his Pace Figures are consistent and he does have two wins under his belt, a repeat of his last effort would put him seven points too slow, a 14 length gap at this distance.



The Play: Too Slow

Materiality (7/2)

Two for two lifetime, Materiality is the most lightly raced runner in the field with just two starts. He's raced twice at Gulfstream Park and won easily in each by a combined ten lengths, showing a stalking style. His dam (mom) Wildwood Flower produced a couple average racehorses before his half sister, My Miss Sophia hit the track. My Miss Sophia ran second in the Kentucky Oaks at 9f (running an 80 final figure!) behind Untapable, earning over $400k in her short racing career.

If quality siblings come in pairs, then Materiality has plenty of upside to improve.

From a Pace Figure perspective his two races are outstanding with a 73.1/77.1 COMP pattern followed by a 77.1/69.8 REV Pattern. This final figure improvement with a 4f decrease indicates a runner who is learning how to run and a longer distance should only enhance his ability. It's also interesting to note that last year's Florida Derby winner, Constitution, was coming off a REV pattern with a final figure of 79 before running 77.4 winning the 2014 Florida Derby.



The Play: Contender – The Pace Figures say he is the clear choice, and as the potential third favorite there is plenty of value.

Dekabrist (30/1)

After two wins to start his career, Dekabrist has finished no better than fourth losing his last 11 races by a combined 165 lengths.
His last race was on turf where he ran 79, though prior to that his 11 dirt figures averaged no better than 65.



The Play: Too Slow

Upstart (8/5)

The nemesis of Itsaknockout (#4), Upstart got disqualified and moved to second in the Grade II Fountain of Youth. He's a winner of $780k, more than the entire field combined. Upstart has hit the finish line first at Gulfstream Park in two Grade II's in 2015 and is the clear class of the race.

His Pace Figures are a pattern of consistency running between 71.7 and 76.4 prior to his most recent race. As mentioned early (when discussing Itsaknockout), the Gulfstream Park surface on Fountain of Youth day was very slow, therefore enabling his 69.4 to be upgraded 5+ points.

He has tactical speed so the outside draw might not be too harmful, though if horses leave inside him Upstart might be wide into the first turn which happens quickly.



The Play: Contender – morning line 8-5 favorite would have to float up to 2-1 to have value on top. In any case, he is a real contender in here.

 

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