The Florida Derby Tipsheet

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 25th, 2021

A cast of 11 sophomores will travel 1 1/8 miles in Saturday’s $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The headline race of the spring in the Sunshine State acts as a 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event, with 170 points (100-40-20-10) on the line for the top-four finishers.

Florida Derby Picks

  • #7 Greatest Honour
  • #9 Collaborate
  • #10 Spielberg
  • #8 Soup and Sandwich

Florida Derby Wagers

  • $20 win: 7
  • $10 exacta box: 7-9
  • $2 trifecta key: 7 with 8,9,10

Florida Derby Contenders

#1 NOVA RAGS finished a solid second in the Sam F. Davis S. (G3) most recently when making his route debut for Mott. Chestnut colt gets a fine inside post for his first try at nine furlongs, and he could be an exotics contender off the bench with a career-best effort. Junior Alvarado will be on board.

#2 QUANTUM LEAP graduated on the course and at the trip most recently for Wilkes. The Pioneerof the Nile colt will have no trouble at the distance, but he will need to get faster to be an upset contender against these.

#3 JIRAFALES was outrun in both the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Holy Bull (G3) at the meeting, and he would be a huge surprise on Saturday.

#4 SOUTHERN PASSAGE came home second to the highly regarded Prevalence in a recent allowance tilt for Romans. The former claimer looks like an outsider in his stakes debut, nonetheless, with Corey Lanerie signed on.

#5 KNOWN AGENDA aired in a recent allowance tilt on the oval in his first with blinkers on for Pletcher. Well-bred Curlin colt has been outrun in his previous pair of graded stakes attempts, but he appears to be a top-four player in this contest with Irad returning to the silks.

#6 SIGILOSO makes the turf-to-dirt move for Sano. Khozan chestnut has flashed some potential on the green, but he will need marked improvement in his nine-furlong debut to make an impact late in the Florida Derby.

#7 GREATEST HONOUR rides in on a three-race win streak as the clear one to beat for McGaughey. Stout son of Tapit has a powerful late kick that will only be enhanced with the added ground on Saturday, and he continues to train steadily in preparation of his final Kentucky Derby prep. Regular rider Jose Ortiz stays in the silks atop the well-bred colt.

#8 SOUP AND SANDWICH is perfect from a pair of career races to date and intrigues in this offering for Casse. Gray son of Into Mischief has looked the part from a visual standpoint in both lifetime appearances to date, and the wildcard is training in swift fashion leading up to his stakes bow, as well. John Velazquez riding adds to the appeal.

#9 COLLABORATE dominated maiden special weight foes last time out and makes the jump to the graded ranks for Joseph. The $600,000 Into Mischief colt has stamina breeding on his dam’s side, and the bay also has the look of lone speed in a field lacking pace. Tyler Gaffalione will be in the stirrups atop the upset contender.

#10 SPIELBERG ships in for the mighty Baffert and has to be respected. The $1 million son of Union Rags overcame a poor start to finish a clear second in the Southwest S. (G3) most recently, and he shows a pair of solid morning drills in the interim, as well. Javier Castellano picks up the live mount.

#11 PAPETU closed from last to place third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) in his latest voyage for Sano. Dialed In chestnut owns a solid 5-2-1-1 mark on the surface, and his best showing will make him an exotics threat despite drawing widest in the field. Jaraqmillo will be in the stirrups.