The Bill Mott trained Hidden Scroll came up short in his stakes debut and needs to finish first or second in Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park to move on to the Run to the Roses.
The Florida Derby offers up 100-40-20-10 points to the top four finishers and it appears likely to stamp a ticket to Louisville Derby hopefuls are going to need at least 30 points.
The colt started taking action in early Kentucky Derby betting after popping a 104 Beyer breaking his maiden by 14 lengths in his debut. Sent off as the 4-5 chalk in the Fountain of Youth (G2) last out, he wilted to finish fourth after doing the dirty work early.
The colt is currently listed at 35-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at USRacing.
The top two finishers of the Fountain of Youth took advantage of the fast-early pace, Code of Honor (3-1) and Bourbon War (7-2) both rallying late, separated by three-quarters of a length at the wire.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has won the race in four of the past five years and is represented by longshot Current (15-1), a graded stakes winner on turf who has not competed on a fast main track.
Gulfstream Park offers up 14 races on Saturday including six supporting stakes.
Let’s head out to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Gulfstream Park Race 14 The Florida Derby (G1) Post time 6:36 ET
1 Hidden Scroll 5-2
2 Current 15-1
9 Code of Honor 3-1
4 Bourbon War 7-2
The Bill Mott trainee was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the Fountain of Youth (G2) but found himself involved in an early pace duel with 132-1 longshot Gladiator King and he paid the price, weakening to finish fourth but only beaten three lengths. Gladiator King faded to finish dead last and bounced back with a win in the Hutcheson (G3) in his next start here on March 23.
Our top pick ran huge in the slop in his debut, taking the field gate to wire and drawing clear to win by 14 lengths and earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 104. He gets a jock switch here to Javier Castellano and likely takes a tracking role. The colt has worked sharply since his last effort and worth another look. By Hard Spun out of an Empire Maker mare that has dropped three other foals, all winners, this guy can handle nine furlongs.
This is an interesting spot for Current to show up for the Todd Pletcher barn that has won this race in four of the past five years, not sending out any runners in this race in 2016. The $725,000 Keeneland purchase has five starts on turf and one in the slop. He won the Bourbon (G3) in his stakes debut at Keeneland last fall and rallied for third last out int the Dania Beach in his three-year-old debut.
The winner of that race was A Thread of Blue, who came back to win the Palm Beach (G3) in his next outing on March 2. He is bred to like dirt, by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of a Storm Cat mare that has dropped two other winners including dirt stakes winner Weep No More ($435,589). The barn is 24% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. Worth tossing in the mix here at a generous price.
Code of Honor
The colt tossed in a dud in the Mucho Macho Man two back in his three-year-old debut where he checked in fourth at 4-5. He bounced back with a sharp win in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at 9-1 but did get a perfect pace set up. The colt showed a ton of promise last year, breaking his maiden in his debut for the Shug barn that does not win first out very often.
He then was a solid second in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park. He would have been a major player in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), but he spiked a fever the morning of the race and had to scratch. He likely will not see quite as fast a pace today, but it should still be honest.