Tag: Florida horse racing

Simplification rolled past his rivals in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth last month. He is the 5/2 morning line favorite for Saturday's Grade 1 Florida Derby. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson)

Florida Derby: The Springboard to Kentucky Derby Glory

Why the Florida Derby is a marquee race on the Kentucky Derby trail, Part the First: Six horses this century graduated from the Grade 1 flagship race at Gulfstream Park to the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle. The six: Monarchos (2001), Barbaro (2006), Big Brown (2008), Orb (2013), Nyquist (2016) and […]

Classic Causeway won his second Tampa Bay Downs Kentucky Derby prep Saturday, winning the Tampa Bay Derby on a record handle day at Tampa Bay Downs. (Image: SV Photography)

Classic Causeway Helps Tampa Bay Downs Pull Record Handle

With Tampa Bay Derby winner Classic Causeway sweeping his way into the Kentucky Derby Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs destroyed its previous single-day record for total handle. Saturday’s total handle of $20,778,222 blew away last year’s previous mark by more than $5.5 million and by 36%. On the rare day that […]

With this easy victory in the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs last month, Classic Causeway proved he's clearly the one to beat in the Tampa Bay Derby. (Image; SV Photography)

This Week on the Derby Trail Stops at the Tampa Bay Derby

As Kentucky Derby preps go, Saturday’s Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby doesn’t exactly provide the fast track to the Churchill Downs winner’s circle. You can get there from Tampa Bay Downs – if it was 2007 and you were Street Sense, that year’s Tampa Bay Derby winner. Or if you […]

Greatest Honour hasn't raced since finishing third in the Florida Derby 11 1/2 months ago. He has trained toward running in Saturday's Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. (Image: Dana WImpfheimer)

Challenger Reunites a Trio of Familiar Names on Comeback Trail

You may have missed it on Saturday’s Tampa Bay Downs card, but three familiar names return to the track for the Challenger Stakes. The $100,000 race is on the Tampa Bay Derby undercard. The 1 1/16-mile Challenger welcomes back Greatest Honour for the first time in nearly a year. It […]

Emmanuel won this December debut by daylight. He makes his anticipated stakes debut in Saturday's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson)

All Eyes are on Emmanuel to Drink From This Fountain of Youth

Emmanuel is on many Kentucky Derby watch lists as one of the colts to watch in Saturday’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. Horseplayers watched him win his first two starts by a combined 11 ¼ lengths. They watched him get bet down to 18/1 in Circa Sports’ Derby futures and […]

Classic Causeway and his front-running style come into the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes as the 3/1 morning-line favorite. (Image: Kentucky West Racing)

The Sam F. Davis: A Derby Prep Where Also-Rans Matter

Tampa Bay Downs’ first stop on the Kentucky Derby trail, Saturday’s Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes is one of those races where you’re best served paying more attention to the horses outside the winner’s circle. Take last year. Candy Man Rocket won the race in typical Davis fashion. He […]

Mo Donegal already owns a two-turn victory. He goes for his second graded stakes victory as the 3/1 morning line favorite in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park Saturday. (Image: Chelsea Durand/NYRA)

Holy Bull! Mo Donegal, Giant Game, Tiz the Bomb Keys in Derby Prep

Dale Romans was talking about his horse, Giant Game. But he spoke for all his fellow trainers in Saturday’s Grade 3 Holy Bull when he distilled the meaning of this Kentucky Derby prep. “Like we say every year, this is the time for the 2-year-olds to turn into men and grow […]

Colonel Liam comes off a 239-day layoff in search of being the only Pegasus World Cup Turf repeat winner. He is the 3/1 favorite for Saturday's $1 million Pegasus Turf. (Image: Derbe Glass)

Colonel Liam Faces Tough Road to History in Pegasus Turf

Colonel Liam makes his bid for Gulfstream Park history from Post 6 as the slim 3/1 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf. Whether he can make it a successful bid depends on how the defending champion handles a 239-day layoff. The fourth edition of the Pegasus […]

Knicks Go opened his 2021 season winning the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational. He hopes to close his stellar career becoming the first repeat winner in event history Saturday. (Image: Gulfstream Park)

Knicks Go, Life Is Good Make Pegasus World Cup a Two-Horse Race

A “happy, fresh, and full of himself” Knicks Go will defend his Pegasus World Cup Invitational title Saturday on the rail as the 6/5 morning-line favorite. That’s the result of Tuesday’s post-position draw for the $3 million Grade 1 event. The presumptive favorite to be named Horse of the Year […]

Sir Winston shocked everyone but his trainer when he and Joel Rosario won the 2019 Belmont Stakes at 14/1. After a rocky 2020 and resurgent 2021, the 6-year-old horse takes his shot in Saturday's $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational. (Image: Coglianese Photos)

Can This Pegasus Trip Be What Belmont Champ Sir Winston Needs?

One trip abroad nearly cost Sir Winston his career. Another trip abroad saved it. And now, the 2019 Belmont Stakes winner comes into Saturday’s $3 million Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational as a mature, fresh 6-year-old. His trainer, Mark Casse, thinks the son of Awesome Again could be awesome […]

This is what a $1.2 million winning Rainbow 6 ticket looks like. One lucky bettor solved Gulfstream Park's Rainbow 6 wager by picking six winners on Friday's card -- one day before a mandatory payout day. (Image: TwinSpires)

One Bettor Cracks Gulfstream Park’s Rainbow 6 Puzzle for $1.2 Million

One lucky/sagacious – depending on your perspective – bettor solved Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 Friday for more than $1.2 million courtesy of one of the longest shots in the field: Canelo. The 4-year-old gelding was making only his second career start in Friday’s 10th race, coming off a Dec. […]

Largent's biggest win to date was this 2020 score in the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes. He returns for the first time in nearly a year for the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Lauren King/Coglianese Photos)

Consistent, but Rusty, Gelding Largent Returns for Tropical Turf

Largent comes into today’s Grade 3 Tropical Turf at Gulfstream Park with name recognition, not just from his namesake – Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent – but from his track deeds. He comes in never having missed the exacta in 10 career races. And he comes in with […]

Gulfstream Park plays host to a $1.1 million guaranteed Rainbow Pick 6 on Wednesday's card. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Gulfstream Park)

Gulfstream Park’s Wednesday Pick 6 Jackpot Pool Hits $1.1 Million

Gulfstream Park has wasted little time in presenting horseplayers with the year’s first seven-figure betting opportunity, offering a $1.1 million gross jackpot pool on its 20-cent Rainbow Pick 6 for Wednesday’s nine-race card. Being a jackpot wager, the Rainbow Pick 6 is paid out when a bettor holds the lone […]

Make It Big held off Osbourne in deep stretch of Friday's Springboard Mile at Remington Park. The half-length victory put the Saffie Joseph Jr. colt on this winter's Kentucky Derby trail in his native Florida. (Image; Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park)

Make It Big Gives Trainer Joseph Kentucky Derby Trail Options

Make It Big did exactly that in Friday’s Springboard Mile at Remington Park, winning the Kentucky Derby prep by a half-length as the 6/5 favorite. More importantly, Make It Big gave trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. a new project for the new year: figuring out what’s next for his colt on […]

Junior Alvarado and Doswell glide to victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes. This turf test is often a good preview for the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf next month at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Ryan Thompson/Coglianese Photos)

Fort Lauderdale Upset Winner Doswell Could Fly to Pegasus Turf

Last year, Doswell followed Largent across the Fort Lauderdale Stakes finish line, falling short in the Grade 2 prep for next month’s Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational. But the 5-year-old Giant’s Causeway progeny went gate-to-wire Saturday, capturing the Fort Lauderdale at Gulfstream Park. That puts the gelding on the radar […]

Fearless, shown here winning the Gulfstream Mile, won three of his last four races at Gulfstream. He comes in as one of the horses to beat in Saturday's Grade 3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes. (Image: Lauren King/Coglianese Photos)

Fearless, Mighty Heart Seek Redemption In Harlan’s Holiday Stakes

On what is generally a quiet weekend on the graded stakes front, one of the most intriguing duels this weekend involves Fearless vs. Mighty Heart, who led the parade into Saturday’s Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16-mile Harlan’s Holiday is the primary prep for next month’s […]

Knicks Go made the Breeders' Cup Classic look like a workout. He comes into his final race at next month's Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup looking for his ninth win in his last 11 races. (Image; Horsephotos)

Cox Looking Ahead at Knicks Go’s Pegasus Finale with Mixed Feelings

Brad Cox looks at Knicks Go standing in his barn. Then, the trainer looks ahead at next month’s Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational with a mixture of anticipation and sadness. Anticipation at seeing the likely 2021 Horse of the Year finish his career in a $3 million race that […]

Irad Ortiz Jr. points the way for Life Is Good after his dominant Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile victory last month. The next stop on the colt's race itinerary is the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Skip Dickstein)

Pletcher Points Life Is Good Toward Pegasus World Cup Invitational

Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner and Eclipse Award candidate Life Is Good will open his 4-year-old season in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, a race trainer Todd Pletcher lacks on his Hall of Fame resume. Pletcher won the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational last year with Colonel Liam, […]