More Video picks for today’s in GI Florida Derby

Watch the guys from Triple Crown Insiders “swing for the fences” in today’s GI Florida Derby.  See if we are all on the same page today.

Weather today at Gulfstream will be warm and dry in mid-80’s, so Fast and Firm will be the order of the day! Track was very fast yesterday!


R Heat Lightning is electrifying in GII “Gulfstream Oaks”!

R Heating Lightning (seen here) sat off a very hot early pace and as the depleted front-runners gave way at the top of the stretch, she electrified the “Gulfstream faithful”with a monster performance to win by 8 1/4 lengths the GII “Gulfstream Oaks” today at Gulfstream Park!

Coming 2nd was Island School with 3rd going to Salary Drive and 2nd choice It’s Tricky filled out the super! 

R Heat Lightning was a sight to behold as Jockey John Velazquez just hand rode her home to this giant win here today, in a fine time of 1:49 and 1 for the 1 1/8 mile covered here!

So with this win and her Davona Dale win last month she’s on her way to Louisville on May 6th for a run in the GI Kentucky Oaks or on second thought how about a run in the big dance this May!

The winning time here was a good Derby Prep clocking, she did rate well off a hot pace which we all know is coming at the Derby this year, came in the stretch on queue and does have enough G/S earnings to warrant a Derby gate!

Hey why not, I can think of a bunch of 3yo’s she could beat with this effort here today! We will see!

No exotics fun here either as this race was almost a carbon-copy of the Rampart Stakes where early speed killed off our under-picks. The long shots picked up the pieces here too for board hits as we walked away with just the 3/5 win here duplicating our Rampart effort!

So this was Ladies Day here in Gulfstream’s opening act of its biggest racing weekend of the season and the boys are up tomorrow for act #2.

The boys better be ready tomorrow as the girls set a pretty high-bar here today!

See this Rachel-like ride Below!  

“Awesome Maria” just awesome in GII “Rampart Stakes”!

Awesome Maria wins GII Rampart Stakes by 8!

Awesome Maria, a daughter of Maria’s Mon, won today’s GII “Rampart Stakes” for 4yo & up Fillies and Mares, going 1 1/8 mile, for $150,000 by 8 lengths at Gulfstream Park!

Coming 2nd by those 8 lengths was  25/1 long shot Successful Song with 3rd going to Unrivaled Belle, the 2010 B/C Ladies Classic winner who looked the part of a horse who hadn’t run a race in almost 5 months!

Awesome Maria did what we thought she’d need to do here today which was to rate just a bit and then sweep home for the win in the stretch.

Unrivaled Belle however, seemed determined to try to keep up with the blazing hot early factions set by Persuading of 23.3, 46.4 and 1:10.4 which isn’t the usual style of either filly and both paid the price for it, by finishing 3rd and 4th!

Successful Song’s 2nd place finish was a surprise but with the early scratch of Joanie’s Catch she should have made it on to one of your supers, at least.

So no exotics for us to carry home here but we manage a win on Awesome Maria so not a total loss here!

Awesome Maria’s big win here today is a statement to the rest of the Ladies Handicap division that she will be heard from this season, count on it! She’ll be in someone’s GI tussle soon!

See this awesome race Below!

“Soldat” 9/5 favorite in GI “Florida Derby”!

 GII “Fountain of Youth” winner, Soldat (seen here), was made the 9/5 favorite and drew gate#1 in Sunday’s GI Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, going 1 1/8 mile, for a field of 8 worthy Derby contenders, all in search of this Million dollar pay-day and a berth in the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby! 
Click on “Free PP’s” for past performances! 
 At 2/1 is Dialed In- gate#7 

At 4/1 is To Honor and Serve-gate#2

At 6/1 is Flashpoint-gate#8

At 8/1 is Stay Thirsty-gate#6

At 20/1 are the final trio in this field of 8 in Arch Traveler in gate#3, Bowman’s Causeway in gate# 4 and Shackleford drew gate# 5!

Race analysis,

  1. With the speedy Flashpoint now in this race, Soldat will not have the lead all to himself, so another wire to wire performance doesn’t seem to be in the cards here Sunday!
  2. We expect early factions from Flashpoint of 23 and 3/5, 46 and 4/5 , 1:11 flat, and from that point on Flashpoint will either fade or do much like what The Factor did in the Rebel Stakes and go on with it. If he does he will vie for the win. Any faster factions then the one’s above and a pace collaspe is unavoidable in the stretch for Flashpoint!
  3. Soldat who will probably stalk until the head of the stretch where he will then challenge Flashpoint and here is where the dice-roll comes in. If Soldat challenges for the lead too quickly, a duel to the death (so to speak) will ensue opening the door for Dialed In, To Honor and Serve and Stay Thirsty in very deep stretch!
  4. You should expect, at least, 3 lead changes, in the stretch, under the above scenario! 

So if we were picking today, we’d start with strategies for wagering first. As long as there are 8 starters when the gates fly open, than there’s good value here as all exotics will payout reasonably well, regardless of the outcome!

We think multiple trifectas and the cheapest supers you can find are the best ways to go here to capture the true value from this race!

If you’re going to use exactas, use $1 boxes on at less 3 or 4 here as the best ways to cash in on the underlying value here with exactas!

Next use pedigrees, last three performances and total life earnings as a guide forward! Click on the free pp’s above to help you with that!

As for us, Soldat will find the board, at least, if not win outright. Dialed In will be a deep closer and vie. To Honor and Serve and Stay Thirsty have too” and I mean “have too“go all in on Sunday or look for something else to do on May 7th! All their tomorrow’s are gone it’s do it now or never!

The wildcard is Flashpoint, if you don’t use him, he just might burst up your best plays.

If you do use him, where?

Best and safest places would be in one of your supers as he may falter by the mile mark but still fill up that super for you. Use him, but not in all your supers!

As for the 3, 20/1 long shots, well remember last year’s Florida Derby where Ice Box and Pleasant Prince both at 30/1 or more took down the 1 and 2 spots!

If you have that feeling, use them only in supers, as a repeat of last year seems against the odds.

You may find the memory of that contest will still be playing on the minds of the “Gulfstream faithful” as that too will only enhance the underlying wagering value in this race!

So the Florida Derby kicks-off the GI portion of the 2011 “Derby Trail” season with millions in purse money up for grabs and a handful of those precious Derby gates to go to the victors!

It’s “Show-Time” everyone, so lets load them up and turn them loose towards Louisville and the 137th running of the “Kentucky Derby”!

See more picks from Bloodhorse!