One day after saddling five winners, including Gulfstream Oaks (G2) heroine R Heat Lightning and Rampart (G3) winner Awesome Maria, trainer Todd Pletcher got right back to his winning ways on the Sunday’s Florida Derby Day program at Gulfstream Park.
To Honor and Serve was widely touted as the horse most likely to pose a danger to Uncle Mo this spring, but his popularity took a considerable hit after fading badly to finish a distant third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 26.
How is the Bill Mott-trained colt going to challenge the unbeaten Eclipse Award champion if he couldn’t put up a stronger showing against less acclaimed 3-year-olds?
Harvey Clarke and partners’ Soldat, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), and Robert LaPenta’s Holy Bull Stakes (G3) winner Dialed In will be the choices in Sunday’s $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
E. Paul Robsham Stable’s 3-year-old filly R Heat Lightning will be a heavy favorite in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Peter Vegso and Gary Seidler’s 5- year-old mare Unrivaled Belle is set to make her season debut in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (G2), the two races highlighting Saturday’s Ladies’ Day program at Gulfstream Park to kick off Florida Derby weekend.
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