Florida Derby 2018 - Handicapping Free Picks

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Last Updated: 08/20/2019 at 6:58 AM ET

Florida Derby 2018 - Handicapping Free Picks

On Saturday, March 31 a big horse racing event leading up to the Kentucky Derby takes place at Gulfstream Park in south Florida with the running of the Florida Derby. Since 1952, this showcase event has been held with three of the last five champs following up with a win at Louisville, including Always Dreaming last year’s winner.

The big name in this year’s field is Audible. With a dominating win at the Holy Bull on February 3, Audible will look to win the Florida Derby with its purse of $1 million. Audible is trained by Todd Fletcher, who also saddled Always Dreaming for last year’s Florida Derby win.

Over the years, past winners of the Florida Derby have gone on to win 59 events in the Triple Crown, and this year’s field of nine could be a prelude to the Derby at Churchill Downs. The field of nine includes: Strike Power, Millionaire Runner, Tip Sheet, Promises Fulfilled, Storm Runner, Catholic Boy, Hofburg, Audible and Mississippi. Audible has the profile of past Florida Derby winners says his trainer. In the February Holy Bull, he pressed the pace, and then found another gear late to bring the win home down the stretch. Audible will be in the No. 8 position with John Velasquez aboard.

Promised Fulfilled, who won the Fountain of Youth on March 3, promises to have plenty of early speed, as he dominated from the front of the field in the March 3 race winning by 2 ¼ lengths over Strike Power, who had previously been undefeated. He likes to set the pace and will be Audible’s biggest rival early. Robby Albarado will return to the saddle aboard Promises Fulfilled.

Catholic Boy could benefit from an early strong pace, as the stretch-running colt has been successful both on dirt and turf with his best running coming late. Irad Ortiz Jr. will be aboard Catholic Boy.

Storm Runner finished a disastrous seventh at the Fountain of Youth, but won on February 4 in an optional claiming allowance and will have Tyler Gaffalione aboard.

Strike Power will ensure that the Derby has a strong pace on Saturday. He debuted at Gulfstream with an eight-length score and on February 3 returned to win the Swale. Strike Power chased Promises Fulfilled at the Fountain of Youth without success but finished well ahead of Good Magic the heavy favorite. Luis Saez will be aboard Strike Power on Saturday. Mississippi lost by three quarters of a length to Noble Indy on February 4 in an optional claiming allowance and will have Julien Leparoux aboard.

Hofburg, Millionaire Runner and Tip Sheet will round out Saturday’s field.

The favorite Audible dull workout gives us hope to bet against heavy favorite. Think #6 Catholic Boy showed big heart after slow start last time out and a better start gets us nice win in Florida Derby.

$500 WIN - PLACE - SHOW on #6 Catholic Boy $5 Exacta Wheel - #6 Catholic Boy with ALL

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