The Florida Derby is an American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses held annually at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Since 2005, it has been run five weeks before the Kentucky Derby, which is held on the first Saturday in May. Thus the Florida Derby is currently run either at the end of March or the beginning of April. Added to the racing schedule in 1952, the Grade I race is run at 1 1⁄8 miles on the dirt for a purse currently set at $1 Million.
|Grade I race|
Hallandale Beach, Florida, USA
|Race type||Thoroughbred - Flat racing|
|Distance||1 1⁄8 miles (9 furlongs)|
|Weight||122 lbs (55.3 kg)|
|Purse||$1 million (since 2011)|
The Florida Derby was first run in 1952. It has long been a prestigious prep race for the Kentucky Derby and since 2013 has been part of the official Road to the Kentucky Derby.
The race was originally run in early to mid-March and Kentucky Derby hopefuls would then run in another major prep race in April. In 2005, Gulfstream Park shifted its scheduling to run the race five weeks before the Kentucky Derby. This was originally believed to be a liability, as the preferred spacing of races is typically three to four weeks. When Barbaro won the 2006 Kentucky Derby, the five-week spacing began to be viewed as a potentially positive feature, allowing a horse to come into the Kentucky Derby well rested.
In 1977, a large field resulted in the race being run in two divisions.
Between 1926 and 1937, the Flamingo Stakes was known as the Florida Derby.
Triple Crown Classic WinnersEdit
In total, 20 winners of the Florida Derby have gone on to win one or more Triple Crown Classics (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes).
Kentucky Derby Winners: Needles (1956), Tim Tam (1958), Carry Back (1961), Northern Dancer (1964), *Forward Pass (1968), Spectacular Bid (1979), Swale (1984), Unbridled (1990), Thunder Gulch (1995), Monarchos (2001), Barbaro (2006), Big Brown (2008), Orb (2013), Nyquist (2016), and Always Dreaming (2017).
Preakness Stakes Winners: Nashua (1955), Tim Tam (1958), Bally Ache (1960), Carry Back (1961), Candy Spots (1963),Northern Dancer(1964), Forward Pass (1968), Spectacular Bid (1979), Snow Chief (1986), and Big Brown (2008).
Belmont Stakes Winners: Nashua (1955), Needles (1956), Swale (1984), Thunder Gulch (1995), and Empire Maker (2003).
- 1:46.80 - Gen. Duke (1957), equaled the world record for 1 1⁄8 miles at the time.
Most wins by an owner:
- 5 - Calumet Farm (1957, 1958, 1968, 1971, 1978)
Most wins by a jockey:
- 5 - John R. Velazquez (2009, 2013, 2015, 2017,2018)
Most wins by a trainer:
- 5 - Todd Pletcher (2007, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018)
Largest margin of victory:
- 9 3⁄4 lengths – Empire Maker (2003)
Shortest priced winners:
- $2.10 (1/20 on) – Honest Pleasure (1976), Spectacular Bid (1979)
Longest priced winner:
- $183.60 (~91/1) – Williamstown Kid (1966)
Paths to $5,500,000 Preakness Bonus:
- win Holy Bull Stakes + win the Florida Derby + win The Preakness Stakes
- win Fountain of Youth Stakes + win the Florida Derby + win The Preakness Stakes
Paths to $550,000 XpressBet Consolation Bonus:
- + win, place or show Holy Bull Stakes + win, place or show in the Florida Derby or win, place or show in the Santa Anita Derby + win The Preakness Stakes
- + win, place or show Fountain of Youth Stakes + win, place or show in the Florida Derby or win, place or show in the Santa Anita Derby + win The Preakness Stakes
- "Florida Derby Profile". www.equibase.com. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- "Florida Derby stars bucking history". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- "Scat Daddy Wins in Florida; Next Stop Is Kentucky Derby". The New York Times. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- Hoppert, Melissa (1 April 2016). "A Showdown Between Mohaymen and Nyquist Before the Kentucky Derby". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- Moore, Christina (27 March 2017). "Florida Derby by the Numbers". TJ Media Ventures. Retrieved 30 March 2017.