The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to south Florida this weekend for the Xpressbet Florida Derby.
With a field of 11 taking to the starting gates, Gunnevera, is marked as the 9-5 favorite after his dramatic run in the Fountain of Youth last month winning by 5-3/4 lengths. His record is at 4-2-0 in eight career starts. He is trained by Antonio Sano and owned by Peacock Racing Stables.
Trainer Todd Pletcher once again has a notable derby stable forming for the first weekend in May and will send a pair of contenders into this race, Battalion Runner (post 9 @ 3-1 odds) and Always Dreaming (post 4 @ 4-1). Battalion Runner may be a possible scratch and point towards the Wood Memorial or the Arkansas Derby in which Johnny Velazquez will have the ride on Always Dreaming.
Gunnevera’s last run makes him a legitimate contender for the Kentucky Derby. His improvement has been consistent and gradual and proved he can overcome in the stretch. This three time graded stakes winner should revel in the added distance of the Florida Derby and will have an edge over the competition if the pace is slower. He will break from post nine with jockey Javier Castellano at the controls. Odds are 9-5.
Others in the field include:
1. State of Honor, Trainer Mark Casse, Jockey Julien Leparoux, odds 8-1
2. Talk Logistics, Trainer Ed. Plesa, jr. Jockey Joe Bravo, odds 30-1
3. Charlie the Greek, Trainer Mikhail Yanakov, Jockey Leonel Reyes, odds 50-1
5. Quinientos, Trainer Enrique Sanchez, Jockey Carlos Montalvo, odds 50-1
6. Coleman rocky, Trainer Gustavo Delgado, Jockey Jose Ortiz, odds 30-1
7. Unbridled Holiday, Trainer Patrick Biancone, Jockey Corey Lanerie, odds 12-1
10. Three Rules, Trainer Jose Pinchin, Jockey Luis Saez, odds 8-1
This is the 66th running of the $1 Million Xpressbet Florida Derby post time is 6:40pm.
This weekend is the final pool for early Kentucky Derby wagering with Gunnevera and McCracken 6-1 co-favorites for the wager pool.