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Mar 14, 2014

Constitution is ratified for Florida Derby


Hallandale Beach, FL ( - Unproven 3-year-old Constitution will make his next start in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, March 29.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Constitution will be making his first start in a stakes in the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby which offers a chance to gain entry into the Kentucky Derby.

"He's doing very well and we're planning to run him in the Florida Derby," Pletcher said. "It was really just a matter of picking out which race we were going to run in. I think he's been very impressive in both of his starts, so it was just a matter of trying to pick the correct Derby prep for him. This time of year they're all competitive."

Winning the Florida Derby will mean 100 points in the Kentucky Derby points system.

Owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stable, Constitution began his career in January at Gulfstream in a seven-furlong maiden race. The colt won his second start on Feb. 22 in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance race.

Javier Castellano has been the jockey for both races.

"We just felt like he's home, he's 2-for-2 over the track, and even though it looks to be a very tough race with Cairo Prince pointing for it, we felt like it was the right spot for him," Pletcher said. "He's passed every test so far, but this will certainly be the biggest test he's had."

Pletcher also is considering starting Anchor Down in the Florida Derby. Owned by Alto Racing, Anchor Down is perfect in two career starts this winter at Gulfstream.

"We're in a similar position with Anchor Down," Pletcher said. "He's run twice, and he's 2-for-2. We're looking to stretch him out in a Derby prep. We haven't decided which one it's going to be, but the Florida Derby is under consideration for him, as well."

Anchor Down won a six-furlong maiden race on Jan. 25 and a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance event on March 1.

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