By Jim Freer
Gulfstream Park this morning will announce the field and post positions for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (Grade 1) and its showdown between the unbeaten Mohaymen and Nyquist.
The post draw will be at 11:20 a.m. in the Ten Palms Restaurant on Gulfstream’s second floor. Gulfstream this afternoon will announce the fields for the rest of Saturday’s program, including seven other stakes races,
Gulfstream will begin Florida Derby week today with a ten-race card and first post of 12:35 p.m.
The Florida Derby is 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds.
A field of between eight and ten is expected. Late this morning we will find out which owners and trainers will step up with longshots to challenge Mohaymen and Nyquist. They are undefeated in six and five starts, respectively.
On Tuesday, Nyquist arrived at Gulfstream from his trainer Doug O’Neill’s base at Santa Anita Park in Aracdia, Calif. His victories include last year’s 1 1/16 mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.
Mohaymen has been stabled this winter at the Gulfstream-affiliated Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach. At Gulfstream early this year he won the Holy Bull (Grade 2) and Fountain of Youth (Grade 2), both at 1 1/16 miles on dirt.
As of Tuesday, the list of likely Florida Derby starters also included Fellowship, Majesto, Fashionable Freddy, Takeittothelodge and Sawyers Mickey.
Considering that the purse money includes $50,000 for fourth place and $30,000 for fifth it is likely that several other trainers and owners will enter horses in the Florida Derby.
We will have previews on this Website and on our blog beginning this afternoon, leading up to on-site race coverage on Saturday.
— Photo on home page by Barry Unterbrink