Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 36
After much conjecture, Flashpoint has been entered in Sunday’s 60th running of the $1 million Florida Derby, instead of the Swale Stakes the same afternoon at Gulfstream Park. The undefeated son of Pomeroy would have been a big favorite in the Swale, but the call of a possible run in the Kentucky Derby proved too alluring to Flashpoint’s connections. In the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby, which is shaping up as perhaps the most competitive prep on the 2011 Kentucky Derby trail, Flashpoint figures to be only one of five colts who will garner major attention at the windows. Win or lose though, the talented grey colt, coming off a 7 ¼ length win in the Hutcheson, figures to play a major part on how the race is run, and ultimately won.
Morning line favorite is the Fountain of Youth hero Soldat who again drew the rail post as he did when he wired the last by a rather easy two lengths. The consistent Kiaran McLaughlin trainee, has proven to be top class while compiling a solid record of 3 wins and 4 places in 7 races. Whether or not Soldat was planning on repeating his front running ways with Alan Garcia in the Florida Derby, it now likely becomes a moot point considering the fleet fractions that Flashpoint promises to throw down.
Adding to the glut of quality frontrunners set to do battle at Gulfstream, include To Honor and Serve, who won both the Remsen and Nashua Stakes last fall at Aqueduct in wire to wire fashion, before coming up a short 3rd for his 2011 debut in the Fountain of Youth. Improvement is expected for the son of Bernardini for conditioner Bill Mott. Another son of Bernardini comes from the Mike Repole Stable. Stay Thirsty, who impressively accounted for the Gotham Stakes in his only race so far this year. The stablemate of current Kentucky Derby favorite Uncle Mo came from fourth early in the Gotham, but has been since been equipped with blinkers which could well sharpen his early speed.
The three outsiders in the field Arch Traveler, Bowman’s Causeway, and Shackleford, all have shown flashes of potential in their young careers. They also all have some early speed that could further jam things up in the early chase of Flashpoint’s pace.
So with all this speed, who do I like in the Grade 1 major Derby prep? The only horse who has no speed at all of course.
Dialed In is the best late runner on this year’s Derby trail. In the Florida Derby he should get just the type of pace set-up to prove it. Gulfstream Park is not always the most fair track to closers, but if there is any way for a deep closer to win on Sunday, it should be Dialed In. He’ll be the one going from last to first in a few blinks of the eye.