2010 Florida Derby (G1)

3/20/2010, Gulfstream Park
1 1/8 m (Dirt)
3 M
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Older Comments about the 2010 Florida Derby (G1)...

A lot of people will be quick to say how much the Florida Derby result flatters Eskendereya. Keep in mind that on Fountain of Youth day, the track was speed-biased, the race was slow and there was little speed - that made Eskendereya look much better and closers Ice Box and Pleasant Prince looked a lot worse.
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  • mdracing69 · ...And there's the rub. If Eskendereya is the real deal, he should be able to track an above par pace and blow the doors off the competition. Expect the Derby pace to be at least that fast. · 3763 days ago
  • cigar · I think those are fair points. I would say, however, that Eskendereya is still getting good and if he sat fourth in the Florida Derby, he does win, probably by 3-5 lengths. · 3762 days ago
Even with him finishing 3rd in the Florida Derby today, I still have Rule on my "Top 5" 2010 Kentucky Derby potentials list. The reason being, for 95% of the race, Rule was much the best. He even still hit the stretch looking very strong. But, IMO, Johnny V. allowed Rule to get into a bit of a speed duel early, upfront with Pulsion. Had Johnny V. backed Rule off just a bit, off of the early pace, as strong as he looked when he hit the stretch, Rule would have came home much the best in the Florida Derby. IMO.
Todd Pletcher certainly has two of the potential "Big Guns" of the 2010 Kentucky Derby prospects going into Churchill Downs this year. I'm just curious, even off the record, which of the two between Rule and Eskendereya he considers the better colt, and the most likely to have a legitimate chance of winning the 2010 Kentucky Derby? Rule, has won 4 straight on dirt, and has never been worse than 3rd in six career starts. Eskendereya has won his last 2, an allowance race at Gulfstream, and then the Fountain of Youth Stakes. I'm wondering since maybe Pletcher decided to go with Rule in the Florida Derby if he considers him a slight favorite of the two. They're both excellent 3yr.old prospects, but I think, up to this point in their racing careers, Rule has a few more races on dirt, and is possibly just a little more accomplished than Eskendereya. But with Eskendereya's ability, that could certainly change overnight. I must say, having both Rule and Eskendereya in the barn together headed for Churchill Downs very soon is a problem that most trainers certainly wouldn't mind having at all!!
Certainly, Rule is the most accomplished dirt runner going into the 2010 Florida Derby. But Radiohead could prove to be a difficult competitor for Rule in the race. Radiohead has raced basically all of his 2yr.old campaign on Turf in Great Britain. In the UK, he's 6-2-2-1. With win's in the EBF Novice Stakes, and the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes. He also ran a strong 2nd to Awzaan, an undefeated colt starting his 3yr.old campaign, in the Group 1 Shadwell Middle Park Stakes. Rule has won 4 straight on the dirt, and has never been worse than 3rd in seven lifetime starts, all on conventional dirt tracks. Both Rule and Radiohead like to run up front, although Radiohead will set a little further off of the pace than Rule generally does. This should be an interesting match-up between two high caliber 3yr.old colts.

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