What an action-packed day of racing we had at Gulfstream Park on Saturday! The Florida Derby card featured ten stakes races with over $1.5 million up for grabs, four of them being graded races. If you could't tune in on time, don't fret because we've got you covered.
The winner of the $750K Florida Derby (G1) was KNOWN AGENDA, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., trained by Todd Pletcher, owned by St. Elias Stables — in a convincing score!
KNOWN AGENDA took a tracking trip in midpack behind front runners SOUP AND SANDWICH and NOVA RAGS. Irad Ortiz Jr. got him to relax along the backside while they went 23.42 for the opening quarter and 47.73 for the half. When they get to the turn, KNOWN AGENDA was full of run. The favorite GREATEST HONOUR finds himself boxed in traffic under Jose Ortiz. As straightened away, KNOWN AGENDA bursts forward with great energy, kicking clear to win by two and half lengths. SOUP AND SANDWICH tried to make a race of it and kept on for second. GREATEST HONOUR rallied to get third. The final time for the one mile and one-eighth on the dirt was 1:49.45.
KNOWN AGENDA paid $12.80 to win, $6.60 to place, $3.20 to show. He is by CURLIN out of BYRAMA by BYRON. He improves his record to 3 wins, 1 second, 1 third, from 6 total starts, with earnings pushed to $541,700. He achieved his highest speed figure to date, while earning 100 qualifying points for his Road to the Kentucky Derby. He's now up to third in the Leaderboard. What a training job by Todd Pletcher to have KNOWN AGENDA approaching his peak right in time for the Kentucky Derby, despite the few disappointing races he ran earlier in the year. KNOWN AGENDA will be an interesting Derby Profile to cover in the coming weeks!
The $200K Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) was won by CRAZY BEAUTIFUL, ridden by Jose Ortiz, trained by Ken McPeek, owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred III — in a commanding win.
CRAZY BEAUTIFUL rated toward the rear of the field for jockey Jose Ortiz. The pace was quite pedestrian: 24.16 and 48.69 for the opening splits for a mile and one-sixteenth race. When they raced into the stretch, Jose Ortiz asks CRAZY BEAUTIFUL for run and she responded immediately with a quick foot, taking command mid stretch and drawing off to win by almost three lengths. MILLEFEUILLE ran well to be second, COMPETITIVE SPEED finished third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth on dirt was 1:44.41.
CRAZY BEAUTIFUL paid $6.00 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.60 to show. She is by LIAM's MAP out of INDIAN BURN by INDIAN CHARLIE. By winning 100 points, she now climbs up to #2 on the KY Oaks Leaderboard with 128 points total.
The $200K Pan American Stakes was won by CHURN N BURN, ridden by Julien Leparoux, trained by Ian Wilkes, owned by Lothenbach Stables — in a gate to wire victory.
It was a one mile and one-half journey with CHURN N BURN leading every call of the race, setting fractions of 24.07, 48.25, and 1:12.55 for the first three quarters. He snuck a breather when he clocked the mile in 1:36.82. When they turned for home, he had plenty in the tank, and held off the challenges of MOON OVER MIAMI who finished second, and CROSS BORDER who finished third. The final time was 2:23.63.
CHURN N BURN paid $13.00 to win, $7.20 to place, and $4.00 to show. He is by LIAM'S MAP out of SWIRLS by LEROIDESANIMAUX. He improves to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 third from 10 total starts, pushing his earnings to $250, 450. With this race he achieved his fastest speed figure to date.
The $100K Ghostzapper Stakes (G3) was won by EYE OF A JEDI, ridden by Javier Castellano, trained and owned by Steve Budhoo. He was positioned on the inside for a tracking trip while pacesetter LAST JUDGEMENT cleared the lead, setting a pace of 23.60, 46.43, and 1:10.15. Approaching the turn, EYE OF THE JEDI commences his rally for Javier Castellano but still needs to catch LAST JUDGEMENT who tries to give the field the slip! EYE OF THE JEDI sets dead aim on the leader and reels him in through the length of the stretch for the win. LAST JUDGEMENT ran well to be second, SUPERFECTO, third. The final time for one mile and one-eighth on dirt was 1:48.83.
EYE OF A JEDI paid $10.40 to win, $4.20 to place and $2.80 to show. He is by EYE OF THE LEOPARD out of SEA SONG's GRACE by ELUSIVE QUALITY. It was his sixth win of his career, and pushed his earnings to $355,778 while achieving his highest speed figure into the bargain.
The Kitten's Joy Appleton Stakes (G3) was won by GRAY'S FABLE, ridden by Junior Alvarado, trained by Roger Attfield, owned by Steve Goldfine — in a wire to wire victory. GRAY'S FABLE led every call of the one mile race on turf, setting fractions of 23.51, 46.55, and 1:09.38 for the opening three quarters. Turning for home, GRAY'S FABLE has enough gas in the tank to storm home; he spurts clear in the deep stretch and holds off RENAISSANCE FROLIC who got up for second. EVER DANGEROUS battled on but settled for third. They stopped the clock in 1:32.64.
GRAY'S FABLE paid $16.20 to win, $9.00 to place, and $4.80 to show. He is by GIO PONTI out of MYRTLE'S GRAY by ORATORY. He wins his second consecutive victory while posting his highest speed figure to date.
The $100K Orchid Stakes was won by WAR LIKE A GODDESS — in a flying finish! Jockey Julien Leparoux, in a perfectly timed ride, mowed down ALWAYS SHOPPING in the final jump to secure the victory. ALWAYS SHOPPING looked home clear entering the stretch but could not hang on and had to settle for second. It was a break of three lengths back to SORREL in third. The winning trainer was Bill Mott and the winning owner, Calamut Farm. The final time was 2:12.34.
WAR LIKE GODDESS paid $13.20 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3.40 to show. She is by ENGLISH CHANNEL out of MISTY NORTH by NORTH LIGHT. She's now won 3 of 4 total starts with earnings pushed to $156,184. She topped her speed figures with this victory.
The $100K Cutler Bay Stakes was won by ANNEX — with a determined rally under jockey Junior Alvarado. The chestnut colt with the big white blaze took a tracking trip midpack while leaders coasted through opening splits of 24.06, 47.78 and 1:11.45. ANNEX was swung 4 wide into the stretch to outfinish two stubborn foes: FULMINI and IT CAN BE DONE to his inside. In the final jumps, ANNEX gets up to win by a neck. FULIMI finished second, IT CAN BE DONE ran third. The final time for the one mile on the turf was 1:34.33.
ANNEX paid $4.20 to win, $3.00 to place, and $2.40 to show. He is by CONSTITUTION out of YOU MAKE ME SING by UNBRIDLED'S SONG. He's a perfect 3-for-3 with earnings pushed to $144,280.
The $100K Sir Shackleton Stakes was won by BASIN, ridden by Jose Ortiz, trained by Todd Pletcher, owned by Jackpot Farm — in a game rally!
BASIN was positioned to race in fourth under Jose Ortiz, while the field ran through opening splits of 22.55 and 45.93. It was a fairly quick tempo. The front runners SHIVAREE and FROSTED GRACE continued to trade headbobs for the lead until the turn for home. BASIN then ranges up into contention, and as they straighten for the stretch, its three horses in a line; FROSTED GRACE, BASIN, with now TOWN'S CLASSIC, who rallied up to challenge the leaders. But ultimately it is BASIN running the strongest and he sticks his neck out in the final jumps to secure the win. FROSTED GRACE holds second, TOWN CLASSIC, third. The final time was 1:23.19.
BASIN paid $5.00 to win, $3.80 to place, and $2.60 to show. He is by LIAM'S MAP out of APPENZELL by JOHANNESBURG. He notches his 4th career win, making his return from a seven-month layoff a winning one. His earnings now exceed $763,000.
The $100K Sand Springs Stakes was won by SWEET BYE AND BYE under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., trained by Joseph Saffie Jr., owned by Joseph M. Imbesi — in a powerful run! They gray mare took a tracking trip in midpack for most part of the race. As they entered the turn, Irad Ortiz asks for run and SWEET BYE AND BYE takes a moment to get into stride. But once they straighten for the stretch and she's fully extended, SWEET BYE AND BYE kicks into high gear and blows by pacesetter SWEET MELANIA, and then draws off for the win. FEEL GLORIOUS ran up for second, ABSCOND finished third. The final time was 1:39.49.
SWEET BYE AND BYE paid $4.00 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. She is by SKY MESA out of TWIGGLES by MARIA'S MON. She improves her record to 8 wins, 4 seconds, 4 thirds, and ties her highest speed figure for the third time. Her earnings now exceed $500K.
The $100K Sanibel Island Stakes was won by I GET IT, ridden by Jose Ortiz, trained by Ronald Spatz, owned by Gary Barber — going from last to first!
I GET IT was content to lope along near the rear of the field for Jose Ortiz, while pacesetter JOY OF PAINTING led through fractions of 24.64 and 49.08. The pace was a pedestrian one as they raced bunched up along the backside. With three furlongs to go, Jose Ortiz pushes the button on I GET IT and she commences a bold rally, circling 5 wide as they hit the stretch. JOY OF PAINTING and WORLD TOUR momentarily make a race of it but I GET IT has the strongest closing kick and wins by half a length. WOULD TOUR beats out HIT THE WOAH for the second spot, leaving her in third. The final time for the one mile was 1:36.11.
I GET IT paid $7.00 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.80 to show. She is by GET STORMY out of TWISTED BEAUTY by GENERAL QUARTERS. She's got 5 wins and 1 third out of 9 total starts. Her earnings now exceed $150K.