by Jeremy Plonk
March 30, 2022
Saturday’s $1 million Curlin Florida Derby – the most productive Kentucky Derby prep all-time with 24 alumni to wear the roses – will feature a field of 11 as drawn today at Gulfstream Park. The Florida Derby tops a 10-stakes card that gets underway at 11:30 am ET. The fourth major 3-year-old stakes of the Championship Meet re-matches the winners from the previous three events, Simplification (Mucho Macho Man, Fountain of Youth) and White Abarrio (Holy Bull).
Horseplayers who utilize the 1/ST BET and Xpressbet betting platforms for Florida Derby Day can take advantage of to a $10 money-back guarantee on win bets that finish second or third on the entire Gulfstream Park card. For more coverage of the Florida Derby, visit https://news.1st.com/blog/florida-derby-picks.
Pace figures to be a major component to this 1-1/8 miles test. Classic Causeway led the entire way in his pair of victories this year over 1-1/16 miles at Tampa Bay Downs. He’s as fast as any Derby prospect the first 50 yards as we’ve seen in some time, and from post 2 he’ll be expected to be in front again. White Abarrio tallied the Holy Bull while pressing in second before pouncing. From post 7, he’ll have the expected major pace players to his inside, Classic Causeway and stretch-out maiden winner Charge It for six-time Florida Derby winner Todd Pletcher. Pace-versatile Simplification leaves from post 3 and is a difficult evaluation in terms of intent and style.
In a “post draw winners & losers” conversation, one could argue White Abarrio got the best of the prospective trips from his starting spot. Inside speed is always good routing at Gulfstream, so post 2 for Classic Causeway could also be a boon.
The late pick four and pick five both will have $750,000-guaranteed pools. Also note the Rainbow 6 pool will have a mandatory payout on Sunday’s final day of the Championship Meet.
The Florida Derby will be televised live on CNBC from 6-7 pm ET.
2022 Curlin Florida Derby // Gulfstream Park // Saturday, April 2, 2022
1 Strike Hard // Matthew Williams // Junior Alvarado // 20-1 ML
2 Classic Causeway // Brian Lynch // Irad Ortiz Jr. // 7-2 ML
3 Simplification // Antonio Sano // Jose Ortiz // 5-2 ML
4 King of Truth // Amador Sanchez // Jose Morelos // 50-1 ML
5 Pappacap // Mark Casse // Edwin Gonzalez // 10-1 ML
6 Charge It // Todd Pletcher // Luis Saez // 7-2 ML
7 White Abarrio // Saffie Joseph Jr. // Tyler Gaffalione // 3-1 ML
8 Cajun’s Magic // Michael Yates // Jesus Rios // 30-1 ML
9 O Captain // Gustavo Delgado // Joel Rosario // 20-1 ML
10 Clapton // Juan Alvarado // Emisael Jaramillo // 30-1 ML
11 Steal Sunshine // Bobby Dibona // Leonel Reyes // 30-1 ML