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Dec 29, 2011

Gulfstream Park Derby debuts on Sunday


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - The first of the year also means the beginning of the Triple Crown trail to the Kentucky Derby. The first stakes on that road is Sunday's Gulfstream Park Derby, a new race on the calendar.

The 1 1/16-mile event worth $100,000 has attracted a field of 11 three-year- olds for the main track. Post-time for the Gulfstream Park Derby is slated for 4:45 p.m. (et).

Topping the field is Spectacular Bid Stakes winner Ancient Rome. Trained by Tony Dutrow, the colt has drawn post seven with Joe Rocco Jr. again getting the riding assignment.

"I honestly don't know what to expect," Dutrow said. "Ancient Rome certainly has the talent, and if he can get the distance, he's going to be a useful three-year-old this year. It's all about experimenting here."

In the Spectacular Bid on December 3, Ancient Rome pressed the pacesetter and was able to put his nose on the wire, covering the six-furlongs in 1:08.95.

"He's always shown that toughness," Dutrow said. "That's one thing we know for sure about him. I would anticipate coming out of those sprint races he would be out on the lead or at least with the pacemakers.

"He's by Roman Ruler so we're looking at that when thinking about the stretch out. His daddy has produced a Belmont winner (Ruler on Ice) so we'll just have to wait and see."

Owned by Michael Dubb, Ancient Rome was second in his first start with Jeremy Rose in the saddle at Delaware Park. In his second career race, the colt, with Rocco riding, won by 7 3/4-lengths at Delaware as the 3-10 favorite. He has earnings of $92,000.

Here is the full field in post position order: King Kid, Corey Lanerie; Reveron, Fernando Jara; Gold Megillah, Edgar Prado; Nachas and Joy, Rajiv Maragh; Casual Trick, John Velazquez; Silver Menace, Javier Castellano; Ancient Rome, Joe Rocco Jr., Politicallycorrect, Elvis Trujillo, Ravelo's Boy, Jeffrey Sanchez; Rex's Last Tour, Daniel Centeno and Yourhonorandglory, Kendrick Carmouche.

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