News and STORIES
Early Odds for the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park
Author: Ryan Knuppel
Published: Thursday March 25, 2021
The early odds have been posted for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, and as expected, Greatest Honour is the overwhelming favorite at 6/5 odds. The race is one of the premier prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and awards points on a 100-40-20-10 scale.
Greatest Honour the horse to beat
Greatest Honour has already captured the previous two prep races at the track, winning the 10-4-2-1 Holy Bull Stakes on January 30th and the 50-20-10-5 Fountain of Youth Stakes on February 27th. His 60 total qualifying points are more than enough to gain an invitation to the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.
The Claude McGaughey III trained colt is clearly the class of the eleven horse field and has a chance to sew up the top spot in the qualifying point race with a win in the Florida Derby. With a sweep in the Gulfstream prep races, Greatest Honour could also establish himself, along with Essential Quality, as one of the favorites heading into the Triple Crown contests.
The rest of the field
The challengers and there are plenty of them, to Greatest Honour don’t lack experience in major prep races. Spielberg, one of four Bob Baffert trained horses in the Kentucky Derby hunt, is second in the early odds at 4/1. He’s been very active for Baffert Triple Crown contender, with three qualifying races in eight career starts.
Spielberg is coming off his best qualifying race finish in second place behind Essential Quality in the 10-4-2-1 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on February 27th. With 17 points accumulated so far on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, a third-place finish appears to be enough to get him into the Kentucky Derby, with any higher-finish making him a lock to race at Churchill Downs on May 1st.
At 5/1, Known Agenda is next in the betting odds, with the Todd Pletcher trained horse needing at least a second-place finish and the 40 points to make it to the Kentucky Derby. After a disappointing fifth-place finish at the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 6th, where he was a 3/2 favorite, he took a step back to win an allowance race at Gulfstream on February 26th.
He blew away the field by 11 lengths and could be a factor in the Florida Derby if he returns to the form that led him to a third-place finish in the 10-4-2-1 Ramsen Stakes at Aqueduct on December 5th. His speedy performance over 1 1/8 mile in his last outing should give confidence to his team as many in the field take their first step up to that distance.
Collaborate is next in the odds at 6/1, but that’s extremely optimistic for an entry that is taking a big step up in class in only his third career start. This is clearly a case of a home track horse getting unrealistic odds after an impressive maiden outing where he won by 12 lengths, but only at a one-turn mile.
A longshot at 12/1, Nova Rags is worth a serious look. His last outing was a second-place finish at 8/1 odds to Camdy Man Rocket in the 10-3-2-1 Sam F. Davis Stakes. He came within a length of pulling a big upset in Tampa and could make the same kind of run on Saturday.
Papetu brings 11 qualifying points into the Florida Derby after a fourth-place finish in the Holy Bull Stakes and more recently managing third place in the Fountain of Youth. At 15/1 odds, his success at Gulfstream might warrant a place bet or at least inclusion in an exacta or trifecta wager.