Check out where the smart money should go in the Florida Derby

Orb rolls to victory in the 2013 Florida Derby.'s Best Racin

The 63rd edition of the Florida Derby will take place at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. on Saturday, and the race has a storied tradition and rich recent history.

Last year’s Florida Derby winner, Orb, went on to capture the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Since 2000, Florida Derby winners who went on to win the first jewel of the Triple Crown also include 2001 winner Monarchos, 2006 winner Barbaro and 2008 victor Big Brown.

Miami can be an expensive town to run around in, so let’s see if we can’t score big on a $20 budget in this year’s Florida Derby:

All eyes have clearly been on Cairo Prince since his dominant victory in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on Jan. 25.  He is one of the leading contenders for this year’s Kentucky Derby in the eyes of almost everyone.  

However, I am honestly not a big fan of playing the favorite under any circumstances, and it has been made quite clear that the main desire of co-owner Godolphin Racing is to see their blue silks in the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs on May 3, not necessarily at Gulfstream Park on March 29. 

Cairo Prince might simply be the best horse in the race, but I also do not think anyone in his camp would be too bothered with a hard-trying second or third-place finish in this race that punches his ticket to Louisville.


Wildcat Red and General a Rod slugged it out for 1 1/16 miles in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 22, where they ran 1-2 every step of the way on an extremely speed-biased racetrack. 

While Gulfstream will always tend to favor horses with speed, the bias is not as pronounced as it was five weeks ago, and both Wildcat Red and General a Rod will have to extend their speed another sixteenth of a mile on Saturday. 

The average winning distance for offspring of D’wildcat, Wildcat Red’s sire, is 6.4 furlongs and the average winning distance for offspring of Roman Ruler (General a Rod’s sire) is 6.7 furlongs. I will be playing against both of these horses in the Florida Derby.

My pick is Constitution.