Florida Derby Reveals Exciting New KY Derby Contender – Super Screener
Super Screener

Florida Derby Reveals Exciting New KY Derby Contender

Photo by Liz Lamont/Eclipse Sportswire

G1 Florida Derby

Gunnevera looked a little light in the flesh prior to the race and he may not have been coming into his best on this day, but connections didn’t need to win this and now he can catch a 5-week break, put some of that weight back on and hope for a swift Kentucky Derby pace and a good post draw.  He was definitely compromised by the outside post draw as we had indicated and Javier Castellano wisely opted to take a sharp left hand turn to head over to the rail and take up the last place position.  He was slow to get going at first despite being asked and then he picked up his feet late closing for a decent third place finish.  


The Super Screener top pick State of Honor’s odds dropped from 8-1 to 4-1 at the last minute and his solid effort reflected the confident vote of the late money.  Blinkers came off this giant colt as they were trying to teach him to rate.  This horse can actually run all day long but he never looks comfortable out there and it started in the paddock where he was clearly on edge. He was shuffled back and had to wait and did advance once in the clear but he lacks that strong late turn of foot.  This colt runs pretty much one-paced throughout the race and due to his massive lung capacity and size, he can carry that pace a long way.  He has the points to head to the Kentucky Derby but connections aren’t committing just yet.
Got to tip the cap to Todd Pletcher’s Always Dreaming.  As he quipped after the race, he wasn’t sure what he had as Always Dreaming inherited a lead in his last and never really got tested posting weak numbers.  Well, his effort yesterday showed he belongs…make sure to tuck this note away, however,…the track played super fast all day long…nothing to take away from the winner but it may be wise to discount the speed ratings that come out of this unless you are sure your past performances provider accounted for that bias.

G2 Louisiana Derby

The Super Screener early dark horse pick to win the Kentucky Derby, Girvin, put on another good display and is looking a lot like Gun Runner both in how he won his last two races and in the pace and speed figures he is producing.  Make a note that Girvin could have won by much more as he was very late to change leads.  Once he did, he finally showed some acceleration close to the wire to draw away.  This race, not the Kentucky Derby, was the target for his barn and they will send their first Kentucky Derby starter to the Churchill Downs gate on May 6th.  Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about Girvin:


“The G2 Risen Star will come back to be rated as one of the better Kentucky Derby preps this year.  #8 Girvin ran a much better-than-it-looked race that day sitting mid field about 10 lengths off the lead early in what turned out to be a very pedestrian early pace. He overcame that less-than-ideal set up and rallied strongly and in uninterrupted fashion to post the victory and he was difficult to pull up after the wire.  He has plenty left in the tank and should enjoy the extra ground on a surface in which he is now 2 for 2.  The pace will be quite pressured which works to his favor as he sits mid-pack again in the clear.  Works leading up to this race have been quite flashy so look for another big effort from this Tale of Ekati colt as the Super Screener’s top win pick.”  


As if Todd Pletcher wasn’t loaded enough coming into the Kentucky Derby, Patch, made a good accounting of himself getting the 1 1/8 distance and galloped out strong past the wire hardly blowing at all.  Does he have enough foundation?  Either way, he finds himself Kentucky Derby bound after that 2nd place finish.  


The strategy of including the big Super Screener long shot bomber, #2 Hollywood Handsome, paid off as he went widest of all and just kept barreling down the stretch doing his best impression of Dallas Stewart’s 2nd place Derby bomb finishers, Golden Soul and Commanding Curve, to finish 4th.  Unfortunately, that will leave him shy of precious Derby points so look for this one to show up in Maryland for the Preakness.

Super Screener suggested wagers hit the Exacta, Trifecta and the $1 Super to collect $500.

Cutler Bay Handicap

Pickings were thin this weekend when it came to full-field stakes races that offered high value potential.  This one looked promising before two scratches reduced the field to a compact 8.  The odds-on favorite, Dover Cliffs, prevailed and the top Super Screener pick #4 Shiraz could not get past the stubborn 87-1 long shot, Gemologister, stretching out from 5 furlongs to 1 mile for the first time while cutting a very slow early pace.

Costa Rising Stakes

This Stakes race was screened as one that could offer value with a full field of turf sprinters but, alas, the Trifecta result came up super chalky as the Super Screener top value play, Nubin Ridge, never fired and the winner, Eden Grey’s Kitten, didn’t flatten late in the stretch as is typical and as was projected.  Top board hitter candidate, Jockamo’s Song, delivered as expected but did so at the 9-5 favorite.  Nothing to write home about here.


Super Derby Prep Saturday comes our way this Saturday with the G1 Santa Anita Derby, the G2 Bluegrass Stakes and G2 Wood Memorial all on tap.  It also marks opening weekend of the always anxiously anticipated Keeneland Spring meet.  So plenty of Graded Stakes action all around this weekend.  Should be one of the best Saturday’s on the racing calendar this year!


Until then…Go fast and win!