Mar 28, 2014
Cairo Prince favored in Florida Derby
By: SPORTS NETWORK
Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Cairo Prince, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes, heads a field of eight 3-year-olds for Saturday's 63rd edition of the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
A victory of the 1 1/8-mile stakes will be worth 100 points in the Kentucky Derby points system that determines the field for the 140th Run for the Roses on May 3.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Cairo Prince has been made the 9-5 favorite and will start from post 3 with his regular jockey Luis Saez in the saddle.
Cairo Prince, owned by Godolphin Racing, has won three of four starts with a second for $512,000.
The Holy Bull was the colt's season debut effort. He went off as the 2-1 favorite versus 10 rivals and posted a 5 3/4-length victory.
"He trains exceptionally well. He's got a great mind. A lot of times you don't get those two things in the same package," McLaughlin said after the Holy Bull. "He does everything right and he is a neat horse to be around. He's got a great stride and a great mind."
As a 2-year-old in 2013, Cairo Prince won his first two starts, including the Nashua at Aqueduct. He followed with a nose loss to Honor Code in the Remsen Stakes at the New York track.
Breaking from the inside post will be Fountain of Youth champ Wildcat Red and jockey John Velazquez, who will be aboard the colt for the first time. The 3-year-old is listed as the 3-1 second pick in the program.
Owned by Honors Stable and trained by Jose Garoffalo, Wildcat Red has won four of six starts with two seconds for $475,850.
Wildcat Red had finished second to General a Rod in the Gulfstream Park Derby on Jan. 1 and one month later won the Hutcheson Stakes.
General a Rod, runner-up in the Fountain of Youth, will break from post 6 with Joel Rosario back to ride the colt. The colt is 7-2 in the morning line.
Trained by Mike Maker for J. Armando Rodriguez, General a Rod lost by a head to Wildcat Red in the Fountain of Youth on Feb.22. He won the New Year's Day Gulfstream Park Derby by a head over his rival. The colt has banked $182,200 with two wins and two seconds in four starts.
"He just looks like the whole package to me," Maker said of General a Rod. "With past horses I've had the surface was questionable and so forth. Other than Hansen, they didn't have a lot of speed, and he's very tactical. He's a lot bigger horse than I've had. It's just a lot of good things.
"If the situation calls for him to be forwardly placed, so be it. If we have to sit off it, that's fine, too. Hopefully, somebody else will do the dirty work."
Here is the entire Florida Derby field in post position order: Wildcat Red, John Velazquez, 3-1; Matador, Julien Leparoux, 15-1; Cairo Prince, Luis Saez. 9-5; Constitution, Javier Castellano, 4-1; East Hall, Juan Leyva, 20-1; General a Rod, Joel Rosario, 7-2; Allstar, Orlando Bocachica, 30-1 and Spot, Corey Lanerie, 8-1.
Post time for the Florida Derby will be approximately 6:45 p.m. ET.
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