by Jerry Shottenkirk
March 30, 2019
I’m counting on Hidden Scroll to get the 1 1-8 miles of the Xpressbet Florida Derby Saturday at Gulfstream Park. But I’m not sure of it -- how could anyone be?
Hidden Scroll is the morning line favorite, but like any horse with many interior “1s” on his running lines, the question is endurance. In only his 2nd start, he was favored in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth, and after rapid fractions, finished 4th. He faltered but didn’t fall apart, but most inexperienced horses would have. It was a good sign. And now, in only his 3rd attempt, he’s going for the Florida Derby.
He’s the one to beat, but using multiple horses in the Florida Derby looks like the way to go in the Pick 4.
Maximum Security has taken an interesting route to the race, mainly against lesser company. His races have been fast, though, and he’s romped. He just hasn’t seen rivals like these and has never been two turns. His career began for $16,000 maiden claiming and has far exceeded early expectations.
Code of Honor’s first two-turn attempt hoisted him up to a new level. He benefited from the fast pace of the Fountain of Youth and was up in time for the win. He would be extremely fortunate to get the same trip, but the same elements are there. A repeat certainly would not be impossible.
The Florida Derby is the centerpiece of a tremendous card and includes mandatory payout in the Rainbow Six.
The 11th and 12th are races at the highest level of the allowance ranks. Restoring Hope, a Triple Crown participant last year, makes is return in the 11th -- a race that has plenty of possibilities. Along with Restoring Hope, the opening leg includes Fast Pass, Articulator and So Long Chuck on the ticket. Tomberaine and Second Mate will have a strong presence in the 12th, along with price play Space Mountain.
The Pan American Stakes is the 13th, and off his closing 2nd in the MacDiarmida Stakes, Melmich is the choice here but isn’t enough of a standout to be a single on the ticket. Bigger Picture and Soglio are worthy of inclusion. Bigger Picture was an easy winner in the Connelly Stakes at Sam Houston and has several Grade 1 and 2 performances that make him a player. Soglio was a closing 2nd in the W.L. McKnight at Gulfstream in January.
Race 11) #5 Restoring Hope, #8 Fast Pass, #9 Articulator, #10 So Long Chuck.
Race 12) #2 Tombelaine, #4 Space Mountain, #11 Second Mate.
Race 13) #2 Melmich, #8 Soglio, 9 Bigger Picture.
Race 14) #1 Hidden Scroll, #7 Maximum Security, #9 Code of Honor.
Total Ticket Cost) 5,8,9,10/2,4,11/2,8,9/1,7,9 ($54) for $0.50>
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