Florida Derby (Gulfstream Park) Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

Florida Derby

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Known Agenda (5/1)

Post Position and Odds – Florida Derby

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2021 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park!

PPHorseOddsJockeyTrainer
1NOVA RAGS12/1
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J AlvaradoW Mott
2QUANTUM LEAP20/1
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M VasquezI Wilkes
3JIRAFALES30/1
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E ZayasG Delgado
4SOUTHERN PASSAGE30/1
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C LanerieD Romans
5KNOWN AGENDA5/1
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I Ortiz JrT Pletcher
6SIGILOSO30/1
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L ReyesA Sano
7GREATEST HONOUR6/5
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J OrtizC McGaughey
8SOUP AND SANDWICH20/1
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J R VelazquezM Casse
9COLLABORATE6/1
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T GaffalioneS Joseph Jr
10SPIELBERG4/1
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J CastellanoB Baffert
11PAPETU15/1
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E JaramilloA Sano

Best Bets for the Florida Derby

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$2 Trifecta part wheel – Greatest Honour and Known Agenda over Greatest Honour and Known Agenda over Spielberg, Collaborate, Nova Rags, and Soup and Sandwich = $16

$2 Trifecta part wheel – Greatest Honour and Known Agenda over Spielberg, Collaborate, Nova Rags, and Soup and Sandwich over Greatest Honour and Known Agenda = $16

$10 Exacta – Greatest Honour over Known Agenda  = $10

$4 Exacta Box – Known Agenda and Collaborate = $8

Top Value Pick:

Known Agenda (5/1)

Greatest Honour, a strong winner of two graded stakes over the track already this year, looks to build upon his Kentucky Derby credentials when he rates top billing in a field of 11 set for Saturday’s Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.

A confirmed stretch runner, Greatest Honour has been unstoppable in three straight races over the track, which include a maiden win, as well as the Holy Bull and the Fountain of Youth. Jose Ortiz will again be in the saddle as the son of Tapit looks to make it a clean sweep of the graded preps in South Florida for this year’s run for the roses.

His main competition could come from trainer Bob Baffert, who has been picking up Derby trail wins like they are going out of style of late. The two-time Triple Crown-winning conditioner ships in Spielberg, who has been knocking heads with several of the best colts of the crop, and includes a win in last year’s Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity among his credentials.

Several others merit consideration in the deep field, including recent winners Known Agenda, Collaborate, Soup and Sandwich, as well as Pasco Stakes hero Nova Rags.

The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby will offer the top four finishers Kentucky Derby qualifying points on a scale of 100-40-20-10.

How to Watch the Florida Derby

Florida Derby Information
WhatFlorida Derby (Grade 1)
WhereGulfstream Park
WhenSaturday, March 27 — 6:35 pm Eastern time
How to WatchTVG
Purse$750,000

Race Analysis

Greatest Honour

This regally bred son of Tapit has been the big story of Gulfstream Park this winter. A promising colt without a win up north, he came south for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and has looked the part of a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby with three straight impressive victories, After a sharp maiden score, he came right back to impressively run by his competition in both the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Saturday will be his toughest test yet, but a repeat of his last two will give him a big shot to head to Kentucky as one of the favorites for the Derby. He is the one they all have to beat.

Spielberg

Easily the most experienced runner in the field with six tries already in graded stakes company, this son of Union Rags ships into Florida off a very good performance last time in the sloppy Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Trained by the master of the Derby trail, Bob Baffert, he overcame plenty of trouble to be much the best of the rest behind the champion Essential Quality. He may be running into another bear here in Greatest Honour, but on his best, he is certainly one of the top threats to the top one. Breaking from an outside post, he might need to work hard early to avoid another wide trip, though.

Known Agenda

The last horse to defeat Greatest Honour turned the trick back in early November in New York. Since then, the career of the favorite has taken off, while this one remains a work in progress. His stakes performances to date leave much to be desired, as he was well beaten third in a sloppy edition of the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes, and his rally came much too late in the Sam F. Davis. Given easier competition last out, he rolled over allowance company over the same track and trip as Saturday’s Florida Derby. With that prep under his belt, I expect him to give his best stakes try yet, but that still might only be second best behind his old rival.

Collaborate

Not quite ready to roll early in a sloppy career debut at Gulfstream Park on February 6, he was able to make up plenty of ground rallying between horses. Off that good finish, he came right back to absolutely dominate a one-mile maiden race three weeks later for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. With only those two maiden races, he now tries Grade 1 company in the Florida Derby. There is not a lot of speed in this field, so the son of Into Mischief could be sent to the early lead under rider Tyler Gaffalione. This task is a lot to ask in only his third career start, but he might just have the talent to pull off the upset.

Nova Rags

A first-out winner at Belmont Park last fall, he faded out of contention over the deep Aqueduct surface to finish a well-beaten fourth in the Nashua Stakes. Given just a little time to mature for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, he seemed to appreciate his new surroundings this year at Tampa Bay Downs with a win in the Pasco Stakes and a solid second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes. Things only get tougher on Saturday, but he is headed in the right direction and is bred to appreciate the added distance. I’m not crazy about the rail draw, but if he can work out a clean, ground-saving trip, he could make some noise in here.

Papetu

A winner of his first two career races over the Gulfstream Park main track last summer, this son of Dialed In has been a constant on the South Florida trail to the Kentucky Derby. With a second in the Mucho Macho Man, a fourth in the Holy Bull, and a third in the Fountain of Youth, he has shown the ability to pass horses over the surface. He’ll take another shot for trainer Antonio Sano, this time at 9 furlongs. He seems like a hard tryer, but the last two seem to point out pretty clearly that he just cannot match strides with Greatest Honour at this point.

Soup and Sandwich

A romping maiden win at Gulfstream Park, in which he was geared down late, got the career of this Mark Casse-trainee off to a nice start. After that, he ventured to Tampa Bay Downs where he was a facile winner of an allowance race going 1 mile and 40 yards. He jumps up into some serious competition on Saturday, but there was enough shown in his first two starts to believe that the gray son of Into Mischief has enough talent to be given consideration in here. With good tactical speed, he should get a chance under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez to show what he can do as the real running begins. He is a longshot contender.

Quantum Leap

After rallying for third in his debut last year at Churchill Downs, this colt from the barn of Ian Wilkes did nothing in his local debut when far behind the impressive Prevalence. He turned things around last month when stretched out to the Florida Derby distance, getting up late after a long stretch drive in maiden company. It was a nice move forward, but was it enough to believe he can factor into the Florida Derby? Probably not, but this son of Pioneer of the Nile might be one to keep an eye on down the road.

Sigiloso

After a rather dull debut against statebreds on the dirt, this son of Khozan was a good winner on his first try at turf racing. Two subsequent starts in stakes races on the grass produced decent results, but neither longshot performance was enough to look for big things against this deep field. If he proves to be best on dirt, perhaps he can compete, but there are too many others I like better in here.

Jirafales

A pair of slow starts did not help this one’s chances in either the Holy Bull or the Fountain of Youth. Still, the son of Social Inclusion wasn’t able to make any serious progress in either race against Greatest Honour, only passing tired horses each time. It would be a surprise if he fared any better on Saturday. He is hard to recommend.

Southern Passage

A winner in only one out of eight races for trainer Dale Romans, this son of Super Saver is set to make his stakes debut in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. It appears a very ambitious placement, but at least he did show marked improvement last time when second to the very highly regarded Prevalence in a local allowance race. Even with that improvement, it’s hard to see him making serious noise against this field.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]