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Mar 31, 2005

High Fly tops Florida Derby field


Hallandale, FL (Sports Network) - High Fly, the winner of the Fountain of Youth

Stakes, is the 8-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby

at Gulfstream Park. The Florida Derby will be run at the distance of 1 1/8 miles.

At this point of the thoroughbred racing season the Florida Derby represents

the richest prep race for the Kentucky Derby. With five weeks until the Run for

 the Roses, the Florida Derby will be the final prep for the top finishers.

High Fly appears to be the top three-year-old in trainer Nick Zito's stable. In the

 Fountain of Youth, High Fly pressed the pace and then went on to win by just

under a length. The Fountain of Youth was also run at 1 1/8 miles. He has

earned $217,500 for owner Live Oak Plantation while winning four of five starts.

 High Fly will once again be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey and will

start from post four.

Zito also has the second choice in the program for the Florida Derby. His

Noble Causeway is 3-1 in the morning line and will break from the inside post.

 Noble Causeway will be making his stakes debut after winning two of his five

career starts. The colt will be ridden by Edgar Prado for owner My Meadowview Farms.

At 6-1 Vicarage is the third choice in the morning line after finishing second

 in this month's Louisiana Derby. Vicarage will start from post five with

 John Velazquez aboard. Previously at Gulfstream, Vicarage was third in the

 Hutcheson Stakes. The colt has won two of seven starts for $190,770. Vicarage

 is one several Kentucky Derby hopefuls trained by Todd Pletcher.

Here is the complete field for the Florida Derby from the Rail out:

Noble Causeway, B.B. Best, Park Avenue Ball, High Fly, Vicarage, Mighty Mecke,

 Papi Chullo, Wall Street Scandal and Evil Minister.

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