2015 Florida Derby Picks and Analysis - Taking a shot against Upstart
Race 14, Gulfstream Park, Saturday, March 28, 2015
3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8-miles, Dirt, Purse: $1 Million
Florida Derby Picks
4. Ami's Flatter
Florida Derby Analysis
Note: Be sure to check out Ken's Louisiana Derby Picks running today!
Stakes everywhere today including a packed card at Gulfstream Park highlighted by the 68th running of the Florida Derby-G1, one of our favourite Kentucky Derby preps.
Upstart is the logical favorite in Gulfstream Park's signature race after a 2 3/4-length win in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on February 21, but he could be ripe for an upset. He was disqualified and placed second in the Fountain of Youth for interfering with fellow Florida Derby entrant Itsaknockout, and the latter could have more upside than the favorite.
Itsaknockout was moved up into the win spot in the Fountain of Youth, which left him with a perfect 3-for-3 record, and this time he's brought reinforcement in the form of his speedy stablemate Materiality, who has already proven himself in a minor stakes at Gulfstream going the Florida Derby distance.
Both Itsaknockout and Materiality are trained by Todd Pletcher, and while we've never been big Pletcher fans when it comes to the Kentucky Derby, his one-two punch in this year's Florida Derby could result in an upset if they can get perfect rides.
BET THE FLORIDA DERBY USING YOUR CREDIT CARD AND GET A 50% BONUS UP TO $250 IN FREE CASH AT BOVADA RACEBOOK!
The race sets up with three speed horses including Jack Tripp, Indianaughty and My Point Exactly setting the pace, with Materiality sitting right behind that trio waiting to pounce. If jockey J R Velazquez avoids a duel he has a chance to get the jump on both Upstart and Itsaknockout into the stretch at decent morning line odds of 7/2. The question is whether he can handle the class raise when the big guns come running.
While Upstart deserves to be favored off physical wins in the Holy Bull-G2 and the Fountain of Youth under J L Ortiz, his effort in the latter race was simply not that impressive. He drifted out and bothered Itsaknockout as that one was trying to go by him in deep stretch before finally drawing out late. We were expecting better of Upstart that day and we're not sure whether he bounced in his second start off the layoff or whether some cracks are starting to show.
Itsaknockout is listed at 2-1 on the morning line and he does have the angle of a horse making its second start up in class after a good effort on the class raise. He's worth a play on that angle alone, and if we can get him home first or second with stablemate Materiality the exacta price will be excellent.
We'll take Itsaknockout on top in the Florida Derby exacta with Materiality and Upstart underneath and reverse the exacta for half the amount. We'll take a similar stance in the trifecta and superfectas but will use all on the bottom in the fourth position in the superfecta. And we'll take a small extra exacta box on the two Pletcher horses.
We'll let odds determine which Pletcher horse we're betting to win. If Itsaknockout is below 2-1 and Materiality is 4-1 or better, we'll likely take a shot on Materiality to get a perfect trip and sneak away in early stretch, saving just enough to hold on late. He did post a triple digit Beyer Speed Figure in his last race, so he does have enough talent. We'll just have to hope his jockey doesn't go dumb-dumb on us and get into a duel early in the race. Of course, that's never happened before.
Santa Anita Picks - (Currently Covering) Free daily picks from one of North American's most popular race tracks!
Los Alamitos Picks - (Current Out of Season) Professional horse racing handicapper Ken Strong gives Predictem readers his take on the races at Los Alamitos!
Belmont Picks - (Currently In Season) Free daily Belmont Park predictions from the winningest horse handicapper on the net!
Del Mar Picks - (Currently Out of Season) Kenneth gives his award winning race day predictions for all the races at Del Mar!
Saratoga Picks - (Currently Out of Season) Get free daily predictions each day of the racing season from the best pro horse handicapper on the planet!
Bovada - Bet on horse races using your Credit Card and get a 50% bonus up to $250 in free money!
Weekly Rebates - Find out where you can get weekly rebates of up to 5% on your action! Not net losses, we're talking 5% back on your total risked amount!
Kentucky Derby Futures - Take long odds on your favorite horse way before the Derby starts and get paid HUGE for correctly selecting the winning horse!
Kentucky Derby Betting - K. Strong dives deep into the betting and handicapping aspects of the Kentucky Derby.
Preakness Stakes Betting - The second jewel of the Triple Crown!
Belmont Stakes Betting - The 3rd jewel of the Triple Crown and logest of the trio at 1.5 miles long.
Understanding Betting on Horses - How does it work? We cover the bases plus explain exotic bets.
About Kenneth Strong - Get tips, advice and award winning information from one of the nation's best horse handicappers!