The 2019 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park failed to disappoint, as 14 races under Clear-Firm conditions yielded some fantastic racing excitement. Seven stakes races were run, where just two favorites entered the winner’s circle. In three of the 7, the favorite finished 4th or 6th in the field.
None-the-less, the 134 starters competed for $2.67 million in purse money, culminating in the $1 million Florida Derby in the last race, where Maximum Security (4.8:1) ran the 1-1/8 mile dirt distance gate to wire in a strong 1:48.86 time. Hidden Scroll (1.8:1), the favorite, ran 6th ! Gary and Mary West were the owners, and Luis Saez the jockey. Bodexpress got the place at 71:1 odds and Code of Honor the Show (3.8:1).
With the winners being lower odds overall on the day, the payouts were not large. The high odds winner was 23:1 in race 1 (Liquid Aloha), a claiming race, while the 12th race winner (Tombelaine) also a claimer, at 10:1 was the high odds in the last 6 races. The late multiple race bets paid as such:
Late Pick 4: $582.20; Late Pick 5: $1,338.15, and Rainbow 6 paid $1,934.68. The one huge payoff was the Super Hi-5 on the Florida Derby: the $1.00 wager paid $61,512 for the correct 7-8-9-4-2 finishing order. We estimate about 7,300 winning tickets were possessed by the Rainbow 6 winners using our data. $14.4 million was wagered on the Rainbow 6 Saturday, and the $2.66 million carryover was added to the $11.52 million bets on Saturday (after the takeout).
In sum, comparing 2019 with 2018 Derby Day, the starters were down 2 horses to 134; the purse money was $2.91 million in 2018; off 8% this year to $2.68 million, and the total track and all source handle was down $2.4 million or about 5%.
Still, as $47,520,620 was wagered Saturday on the 14 races; that has to be considered a “win” for racing fans, owner’s, trainer’s and track management.
Gulfstream Park ends it Championship Meet today, with a 1:10 PM first post time. 11 races area planned on the card. There are no carryovers for today since it’s the last day of the meet. The Spring-Summer meet begins Thursday, April 4th at 1:15 PM.
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