by Eddie Olczyk
March 28, 2019
Analysis: The importance of the Xpressbet Florida Derby has been long-standing, but really in the spotlight in recent years. Kentucky Derby winners Orb, Nyquist and Always Dreaming all have come out of this race just since 2013. It’s the capper to a great, 14-race card on Saturday. Good luck to those playing in the live-money $50,000 Xpressbet Showdown online tournament.
Main Contenders: The pace got to favorite HIDDEN SCROLL in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth when he finished fourth at 6-5. I respect him, but not sure he offers any more value this time … or if the pace will be any more forgiving. That’s because unbeaten sprinter MAXIMUM SECURITY should offer a big challenge to those up front. The Xpressbet Florida Derby should come down to the best finisher. In the Fountain of Youth, that was BOURBON WAR. He ran huge in the local prep when second to CODE OF HONOR and should get the perfect set-up. The longer the better for BOURBON WAR. And keep in mind that closers have taken the Mucho Macho Man, Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth this winter on the Florida Derby path.
Value Plays: BODEXPRESS will be a big price (30-1 morning line, but likely much higher as a maiden). I know he’s never been around two turns, but he’s bred to like this. Sire Bodemeister dominated the Arkansas Derby at this same 1-1/8 miles and ran huge seconds in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. I’m looking for BODEXPRESS to be just off the speed in that second flight.
$100 Betting Strategy
Eddie's Top 4 Picks