Friday, March 31, 2017

Underway at Florida Tracks

Racing is underway for Friday at Gulfstream, with 11 races, and at Tampa Bay Downs, with nine races.

At Gulfstream there is a carryover of $1,543,677 on the Rainbow 6.  It is on races six to eleven, with the sequence set to start at 3:02 p.m.

We will  have coverage on this blog.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gulfstream Rainbow 6 Carryover Passes $1.5 Million

Gulfstream Park on Friday will have a carryover of $1,543,677 on its Rainbow 6 on Friday.

First post time is12:35 p.m. for an 11-race card.  The Rainbow 6 is on races six to eleven, with the sequence starting at 3:02 p.m.  It is a 20-cent per combination only bet.

GP Rainbow 6 Approaching

Gulfstream's sixth race is coming up with scheduled post of  3:02 p.m.

It will be the start of the Rainbow 6 with a carryover of $1,445,653.

There will be 47 starters in the six races.  To  go  ALL in each leg of the Rainbow 6 would be a total of $39,200 on the 20-cent per combination only bet.
--Jim Freer

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Florida Derby: Gunnevera Favored, in Post 11

By Jim Freer
Gunnevera will be in the outside post, number 11, and is the 9-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (Grade 1) at Gulfstream Park.
On Wednesday, eleven horses were entered for the 1 1/8 mile dirt race for 3-year-olds.
The Florida Derby is one of nine stakes races on Saturday’s 14-race Gulfstream card. First post is 12:00 p.m.  The Florida Derby is the 14th race with scheduled post of 6:45 p.m.
Gunnevera comes into the Florida Derby following an impressive come-from-from behind win in the 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) at Gulfstream on March 4.  He finished 5  ¾ lengths ahead of Practical Joke, who is not running in the Florida Derby. 
Because of his late-running style, the outside post will probably not have a big impact on Gunnevera. Regular jockey Javier Castellano has the mount for trainer Antonio Sano and owner Peacock Racing Stables.
 Only ten horses likely will be in the starting gate.
Trainer Todd  Pletcher entered Always Dreaming and Battalion Runner.  But he has indicated that Battalion Runner will run on Saturday only if Always Dreaming is a scratch from the Florida Derby.
If Battalion Runner is not in the Florida Derby, Pletcher probably will run him April 8 in one of that day’s prep  races for the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1). That race .will be run May 6 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Battalion Runner is owned by the St. Elias Stable,Vincent Viola owns St. Elias and also owns the Florida Panthers of the NHL.
St. Elias is  one of three owners of Always Dreaming.
Neither Always Dreaming nor Battalion Runner has been in a stakes. This winter, Always Dreaming has an allowance win at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream and Battalion Runner has an allowance win at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream.
Gulfstream line maker Jay Stone has made Always Dreaming the 3-1 second choice and Battalion Runner the 4-1 third choice in the morning line.
Pletcher has named John Velazquez as rider for Always Dreaming in post 4 and for Battalion Runner in post 9.
Both of the Pletcher horses have early speed. 
So do State of Honor, in post 1, and Three Rules, in post 10.  Both are 8-1 in the morning line.
State of Honor this winter finished third in the Sam F. Davis (Grade 3) and second in the Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2)--both at Tampa Bay Downs.
Three Rules finished third in the Fountain of Youth.  Luis Saez  has the mount on Saturday for trainer Jose Pinchin.
The Florida Derby is a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points scoring race. The first through fourth place finishers on Saturday will earn 100, 40, 20 and ten Kentucky Derby points, respectively.
Last year 32 points were required to make the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field.
Gunnevera has 64 points and is assured a spot in  the Kentucky Derby.
State of Honor (22), Three Rules (10) and Talk Logistics (6) are the only other Florida Derby entrants that have Kentucky Derby points.
Florida Derby Field
horse, trainer, jockey, morning line
1. State of Honor, Mark Casse, Julien Leparoux, 8-1
2. Talk Logistics, Eddie Plesa Jr., Joe Bravo, 30-1
3. Charlie the Greek, Mikhail Yanakov, Leonel Reyes, 50-1
4. Always Dreaming, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 4-1
5. Quinentos, Enrique A. Sanchez, Carlos Montalvo, 50-1
6. Coleman Rocky, Gustavo Delgado, Jose Ortiz, 30-1
7. Unbridled Holiday, Patrick Biancone, Nik Juarez, 30-1
8. Impressive Edge, Dale Romans, Corey Lanerie, 12-1
9. Battalion Runner, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 3-1
10. Three Rules, Jose Pinchin, Luis Saez, 8-1
11. Gunnevera, Antonio Sano, Javier Castellano, 9-5

First Race of Rainbow 6 Won by 26-1 Shot

Member, at 26-1, won Wednesday's sixth race at Gulfstream, getting the Rainbow 6 off to a "bombs away" start.

Bettors wagered $378,728 on the Rainbow 6.   The carryover coming in was $1,354,777.

There are still 78,993 tickets left on the Rainbow 6, which a 20-cent only bet.

Rainbow 6 Coming Up at Gulfstream

The sixth race is coming up agt Gulfstream, and it will be the start of the Rainbow 6 with a carryover of $1,354,777.

We are at Gulfstream, and will have reports.
--Jim Freer

Florida Tracks Looking to Weekend Stakes

HorseRacingFLA Staff Report

Racing will resume at Gulfstream Park and at Tampa Bay Downs on Wednesday afternoon, amid the excitement of a Rainbow 6 carryover above $1.35 million at Gulfstream and the anticipation of this weekend’s stakes races at both tracks.

The Wednesday action at Gulfstream will start at 11:00 a.m. with the draw for post positions for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (Grade 1).  It will be one of nine stakes races on the Saturday card.

On the track on Wednesday, Gulfstream has an 11-race  card with first post at 12:35 p.m.

The carryover on the Rainbow 6 is $1,354,777.  It is on races six to 11 with the sequence set to start at 3:02 p.m.

The carryover has been growing because Sunday was the 23rd straight race day without the jackpot payoff requirement of just one ticket with the winners of all six Rainbow 6 races. The jackpot on the 20-cent only bet consists of 80 percent of the day’s Rainbow 6 bet plus the full carryover.

At Tampa Bay Downs, the Wednesday card has nine races with first post of 12:55 p.m.

On Sunday, Tampa Bay will have the 15th annual Florida Cup with six stakes  races. All of those races have $100,000 purses and are restricted to Florida breds.

We will be at Gulfstream on Wednesday and will have coverage, including the Florida Derby draw, on this  blog.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Florida Derby Draw Set for Wednesday

By Jim Freer
Gulfstream Park will draw post positions at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (Grade 1).

The Florida Derby is 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds, and is one of nine stakes races on Saturday’s card.  Five of the day’s other stakes are graded.

First post will be 12:00 p.m. for Saturday’s 14-race card.  The Gulfstream condition book shows the Florida Derby as the 14th race. Post time would be around 6:45 p.m. 

On Wednesday evening we will have a story that includes the race schedule for Saturday.

The Florida Derby will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network (MBCSN) cable channel.

Gunnevera is the likely favorite, based on his runaway win in the 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) at Gulfstream
on March 4.

The Fountain of Youth’s second through fourth place 
finishers also are expected back for the Florida Derby.   
They are Practical Joke, Three Rules and Talk Logistics.

Other likely Florida Derby starters are State of Honor, Impressive Edge, Unbridled Holiday and Always Dreaming.

A more detailed version of this article may be found on our Web site.

-- Jim Freer

Monday, March 27, 2017

Gulfstream: Florida Derby Week Events

From Gulfstream Park

Here is a schedule of this week’s events at Gulfstream Park, leading up to Florida Derby Day on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 28
              Florida Derby Charity Golf Tournament
                     Diplomat Resort & Spa

Play one of Florida’s premier 18-hole golf courses while helping to raise awareness and money for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Registration runs from 10:30-11:45 a.m. with a scramble at noon. Lunch and beverages included along with a prizes for first, second and third, closest to the pin and longest drive. There will also be a raffle. Tee off for $175. For more information call 954.457.6186 or email

Wednesday, March 29

Live Racing Begins 12:35 p.m.

$1 million Florida Derby Post Position Draw
                               Ten Palms Restaurant
                                  11 A.M.

Check out who will be running and where they will be leaving the gate from for the 66th running of the $1 million Florida Derby. Tickets are $30 and include a continental breakfast. Post time is 11 a.m. in Ten Palms North.

Thursday, March 30

Live Racing Begins 12:35 p.m.

Friday, March 31

Live Racing Begins 12:35 p.m.

                     Cocktails & Horse Tales
                       Gulfstream Walking Ring
The Florida Derby Party includes entertainment, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. For more information call 954.457.6186 or email Cash bar open to general public at 9 p.m. Donation benefits Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (TRAC).

Saturday, April 1

Live Racing Begins at noon. 
Florida Derby Day

Breakfast at Gulfstream kicks off the day at 8 a.m. Watch horses train while enjoying a $10 all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in the Tiki.

Doors open at 9 a.m. for Ten Palms and Silks. Ten Palms will offer a buffet featuring fresh stone Crabs.

Tickets in Ten Palms  are $325 and $275. Seats at the Fountain Club are $175 for the interior, $200 along the rail. An all-all-can-eat BBQ Buffet will be available at Sport of Kings beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets are $50. For reservations call 954.457.6201.

Frankey’s Sports Bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with a lavish buffet for $39 per person. Reservations can be made at 954.464.2333.

The Florida Derby “Divas and Dudes” Hat Contest will take place after the call to post for Race 8. Prizes will be awarded to men, ladies, young ladies and girls.

After the $1 million Florida Derby, the Florida Derby Closing Party will take place in the walking ring from 7-10 p.m. with free admission, live entertainment, cash bars and drink specials.