Saturday’s $1 million Curlin Florida Derby — the most productive Kentucky Derby build ever with 24 alumni to wear the roses — will feature an 11-as-drawn field today at Gulfstream Park. The Florida Derby tops a 10-stakes card that kicks off at 11:30 a.m. ET. The fourth major challenge for the 3-year-olds of the Championship Meet opposes the winners of the three previous events, Simplification (Mucho Macho Man, Fontaine de Jouvence) and White Abarrio (Holy Bull).
Horse players using 1/ST BET and Xpressbet betting platforms for Florida Derby Day can enjoy a $10 money back guarantee on winning bets that finish second or third across the entire Gulfstream Park card . For more Florida Derby coverage, visit https://news.1st.com/blog/florida-derby-picks.
Pace is a major part of this 1-1/8 mile test. Classic Causeway led all the way in its pair of wins this year over 1-1/16 miles at Tampa Bay Downs. He’s as fast as any Derby prospect over the first 50 yards as we’ve seen him for some time, and from post 2 onwards he’ll be expected to be up front again. White Abarrio counted the Holy Bull while pressing in second before pounced. Starting in Post 7, it will have the main pace players expected inside, Classic Causeway and the winner of the first Charge It stretch for six-time Florida Derby winner Todd Pletcher. Versatile Rhythm Simplification starts from post 3 and is a difficult assessment in terms of intent and style.
In a “winners and losers after the draw” conversation, one could argue that White Abarrio has made the most of the potential trips from where he started. Interior Speed is always a good routing at Gulfstream, so post 2 for Classic Causeway could also be a boon.
Final picks four and five will both have guaranteed pools of $750,000. Also note that the Rainbow 6 pool will have a mandatory payout on the last day of the championship match on Sunday.
The Florida Derby will be televised live on CNBC from 6-7 p.m. ET.
Curlin Florida Derby 2022 // 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 // José 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 Load It // Todd Pletcher // Luis Saez // 7-2 ML
7 White Abarrio // Saffie Joseph Jr. // Tyler Gaffalione // 3-1 ML
8 Cajun 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