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Constitution Wins the Florida Derby

Etch Constitution’s name into the honor roll of winning Florida Derby Champions.  The winner of the 66th edition of the Florida Derby cut the corner on the far turn and came up the rail to surprise Wildcat Red in the final jump.  Wildcat Red who was slightly rank early, slowed the pace down early, getting the first quarter in a sensible :24 flat.  General A Rod lurked in second place, while Constitution, who was also rank early while being restrained, settled into third.  Coming around the far turn, Javier Castellano cut the corner, taking  advantage of General A Rod as that one drifted out three wide.  Wildcat Red also drifted slightly, giving Constitution a straight shot up the rail. The tough Wildcat Red fought back but was edged by a neck at the wire. Race favorite Cairo Prince tracked from fifth place, went four wide on the turn and was never a factor. He finished fourth, 3½ lengths behind Constitution.
The race fractions were :24, :48.19, 1:12, 1:36.46 and the final time for 1 1/8 miles over the fast track was 1:49.16.
The Florida Derby Champ earned a whopping 100 points to win.  Wildcat Red the second place finisher was awarded 40 points, with third place General A Rod   getting 20,   and Cairo Prince  10 points for fourth.
Constitution is owned by WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC.
WinStar Farm Racing Manager Elliott Walden had this to say about Constitution, “He had some sore shins at Saratoga last year (as a two year old). He was going to run at the end of the meet, but we had to wait.   When asked about the “Kentucky Derby curse” that no horse that only one horse that hasn’t raced at two won the Kentucky Derby, Walden commented, “I think it’s going to happen in the next five years.  The way people are managing their horses now and the way the points system sets up. Bodemeister almost did it. It’s just matter of time.  It’s a challenge but I’d rather have a horse coming into it (the Derby) three for three than a horse that ran five times at two and is off form.   I feel very good about this colt, I think he’s done things that are remarkable.  His allowance race was a legitimate stake (race), the quality. For him to come back and do this was remarkable."
Trainer Todd Pletcher stated, “It gives you confidence moving forward, knowing he got some education and got some dirt in his face.”
Castellano was impressed with Constitution after the colt’s first start. “I think the horse is learning little by little and he has a great future.’
Constitution paid $8.60 for the win, Wildcat Red $4.80 and General A Rod returned $3.40. 


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Older Comments about Constitution Wins the Florida Derby...

Constitution isn't pedigree challenged for 10F? You do know Tapit progeny are notorious for coming up short @ 10F, right?
  • skid24 · Is that with a Distorted Humor on the bottom or less distanced progeny takin into consideration. · 1237 days ago
  • Sully · Since we don't have a huge sample size to evaluate, I can't answer one way or the other. But if you think a Distorted Humor mare is the answer to Tapit progeny's distance challenges, I say bet the farm on that one in the derby. We need some odds relief for prices that actually having a shot at capturing the run for the roses! · 1234 days ago
Given WR's trip he should have won the race. Even comfortable splits ensured Wildcat would be there at end. He was but still lost. I give Cairo a pass due to outside trip into soft pace. Not sure if he is good enough for Roses though. Gen. A Rod ran merry go race. Constitution also got favorable trip with rail run. More upside likely although that goes against the reality of Team Todd underperforming in Louisville. This prep was better than LA Derby IMO.
Good news is at least Cairo Prince will be at fair odds come Derby day. If you re-watch the race, Consitution basically rode the rail the entire trip and still only had just enough to edge out Wildcat Red?.Todd Pletcher complained about the Gulfstream speed bias after Dunkirk lost in 2009. I guess he's learned to embrace it.
The winner of the Kentucky Derby will not have raced in the Florida Derby this year.
I wouldn't give up on Cairo Prince, he was coming off of a 9 week lay off. That might of been a perfect race for him to be ready for the derby, if he makes the gate
99 BSF of Constititution in FL Derby
I love the way this colt is peaking at the right time of the year. The only flaw he has is that he has the derby jinx(no horse has ever won it that never started as a 2yr. old)
top three were so close that this contest only suggested that Cairo has ooutrun his best distance that's all
A horse with only 2 races behind him....he outran Wildcat who is a leading contender ...and showed corage sneaking thru on the rail... very impressive
Wildcat Red is still my Derby Horse!!!
This KD crop seems to be loaded with talented horses who are pedigree challenged for a 1 1/4. Constitution does not fit that description. His challenge is experience. With Candy, Cal chrome, vicar, all a little distance challenged maybe the experience challenge will be finally defeated
Pletcher had quite a day at Gulfstream today. Constitution showed a lot of guts coming through on the rail and then fighting for the win.
The word "quit" is just not in Wildcat Red's dictionary. I have to wonder if he would have won if the rail hadn't opened up for Constitution. Losing that close a decision also makes me wonder if Wildcat Red will manage to stick around for a piece of the pie in the Kentucky Derby. Taking nothing away from Constitution, but Wildcat Red just continues to impress me.

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