Four horses have been scratched from today's Florida Derby (Grade 1) at Gulfstream Park.
The scratches enabled Rogue Element, who was an Also Eligible to draw into the field--which now has nine entrants.
The scratched horses, with program numbers and posts, are:
3 -- Disc Jockey
4 -- Soros
11-- Sassy and Smart
Luis Saez, who was scheduled to ride Ajaaweed, has switched over to ride Candy Tycoon (10). He replaces Javier Castellano, who is in New York where he is quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The scratches could help the chances of Ete Indian, who drew the outside post 12 for the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby.
He will move in by four gate positions, which could benefit his early speed--and perhaps lead to a repeat of his race in the 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) at Gulfstream on Feb. 29.
In 1 1/16 mile and 1 1/8 mile races at Gulfstream, the run from the starting gate to the beginning of the first turn is less than 100 yards.
Thus, a clean break is essential for a speed horse on the outside.
In the Fountain, Ete Indian was in post ten. Florent Geroux gunned him out of the gate. He took the lead heading around the first turn and was never headed as he went on to beat Candy Tycoon by 8 1/2 lengths.
In the 1 1/16 mile Holy Bull (Grade 3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 1, Ete Indian led most of the way. Tiz the Law, with Manuel Franco riding, caught Ete Indien in the final furlong and on by seven lengths with Ete Indian hanging on for second place.
Today, Franco is back on Tiz the Law for trainer Barclay Tagg and Geroux has the return ride on Ete Indien for trainer Patrick Biancone.
Tiz the Law drew post sevenm, and will keep that program number as he starts from the four hole.
www.equibase.com/static/entry/GP032820USA-EQB.html#RACE14 is o the Equibase entries for the Florida Derby. It has limks to handicapping material, some for free and some at cost.