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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Florida Derby Attracts Field of 9

The 63rd running of the G1 Florida Derby closed with 94 nominations, but only nine were entered come time to draw post positions. With key contenders not entered, Union Rags and El Padrino look to face an easy race. Here is a look at why the field came up short: 
Injuries: Algorithms, Out of Bounds, Spring Hill Farm, and Stephanoatsee 
Off the trail: Discreet Dancer and Thunder Moccasin 
Already raced this month: Ever So Lucky, Exfactor, Gemologist, and Went the Day Well 
Different prep race: Alpha, Dullahan, Hansen, Howe Great, Lucky Chappy, My Adonis, and Prospective 
Of the nine colts entered, Fort Loudon, Union Rags, Reveron, and El Padrino are the only four to win stakes races. Included in the remaining five entries are one non-winner and four winners of maiden races only. Not a very contentious field at all, though I have to give credit where credit is due. Take Charge Indy is Grade 3 placed and Bartolome is stakes placed. 
So how does the race look to play out? Well, at first glance, your guess is as good as mine. In reviewing the past performances of the field, I found that many of these colts did not run the same race twice. Now, for the most part, a horse develops a running style and sticks to it. Sometimes there are exceptions (Think Hansen’s Gotham). With this field, however, very few of the entrants seem to have figured out exactly what their running style is. Take Charge Indy, for example, has shown speed, stalked the pace, and closed from off the pace. Talk about inconsistencies!  After studying the past performances time and again, this is what I have come to expect. Bartolome, Fort Loudon, and Reveron will likely go out to the front to set the pace. Union Rags and El Padrino will go with the front-runners but sit just off the pace. Neck 'N Neck and Z Camelot will take up position at the back of the field. News Pending and Take Charge Indy are the wildcards. Both have run on the lead and off the pace. Depending on what trainers Dale Romans and Patrick Byrne feel will benefit their charges best, they could either be part of the pace or sit near the back with Neck N’ Neck and Z Camelot. Considering that we are talking about the main track at Gulfstream Park, I would wager that neither trainer will want their colt to be too far off the pace. 
Overall, I do not expect any surprises when the field hits the wire. I expect Union Rags will win, but El Padrino (right) will not make it easy on him. Union Rags does not need for this to be an extremely tough race, but it will be good for him to have to work for the victory. There is no doubt that El Padrino is a gritty runner. In his only two losses, he just missed by less than a length. Two of his wins were done with ease, while his last victory was a gutsy score by a nose over Mark Valeski in the G2 Risen Star Stakes. He will be tough, but I have faith that Union Rags will get to the wire first.  
My top three for this race: Union Rags-El Padrino-Reveron 
Post time is at 5:40 p.m. EST. Also included on Saturday’s card are the Sir Shackleton Stakes, the G3 Rampart Stakes, the G3 Skip Away Stakes, the G3 Appleton Stakes, the G2 Gulfstream Oaks, and the G3 Orchid Stakes.
 See where they all rank in HRN's Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders!


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Older Comments about Florida Derby Attracts Field of 9...

If the odds pemit I'm going to throw in a 3/6/8 tri box. UR just needs a prep and EP needs 1st or 2nd, #3 has a lot of upside 2nd off layoff and EP being the fastest horse with about the same LP. Michael Matz may just be there for a tune up for KD even though the purse is big. On a personal note sadly I didn't win the lottery, I didn't even want 1st second for a million - taxes would've been just fine. I think I need another job due to the fact every doctor I go to has at least 3 friends who want to shake my hand for a couple hundred.
He's by Curlin's sire, Smart Strike, and has the same damsire, Deputy Minister.
That's one of the things I noticed about Z Camelot, icy--the money spent on him as a yearling. Plus he has tried 9f. three times, although on turf. Why not for fourth? I also noticed that his name was written in on the Florida Derby entries board. I'm being superstitious with signs lately.
I'm going to put the #5 in another mix-when you pay 550k for a horse you saw something. could play another 6/8 wt 6/8 wt 2/3/5 super- if I get 5/2might play the #8 win.
6,2,8,5(yes, 5).
6/8 wt 6/8 wt 3 wt 2- As much as I'd like to see UR do well he's beatable here, like the #3 for show spot #2, 4th. (2) $20 supers depends on odds as do all wagers but this what it looks like to me. rather hit the mega million for 640 million
Nice article Ashley. I'm with Brian on his Tri, Union Rags/El Padrino/New Pending. Should be a great race!
Since News Pending is a new favourite, I'd like to see UR, News Pending, then El Padrino.
why is it always either or? heard similar talk right before Brian's Time won the thing
It's going to be a close race between EP and UR but I think EP draws away to take the Florida Derby with UR 2nd and News Pending 3rd!
Of course, Dark Horse. Union Rags is the easy favorite.
It's gotta be Union Rags, right?
I'll take your tri and replace News Pending with Reveron, Brian. He consistently puts in solid performances, but I do like News Pending, too. I think he'll run fourth or fifth, though.
Don't see much past Union Rags and El Padrino in this one.
No fooling around, ice cold straight tri in the Florida Derby - Union Rags-El Padrino-News Pending.

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.


Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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