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Florida Derby Betting – Cairo Prince Struts His Stuff At Churchill Downs

Posted by on 3/26/2014 9:39:46 PM

The race for the Kentucky Derby is heating up, and with about six weeks to go, the Florida Derby is a huge stop on the prep trail. This Grade-1 race features a purse of $1,000,000 and it is run over 1 1/8 miles on dirt at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, roughly halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Last year’s winner, Orb, went on to win the Kentucky Derby.

“Shug” McGaughey trained Orb to his huge win in the Florida Derby and also at Churchill Downs, and he could get a chance to do it again as he trains Cairo Prince, who should squeeze out a victory on Saturday.

What: Horse Betting
When: Saturday, March 29th, post time TBA
Where: Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, FL
Pick: Cairo Prince

Allstar will be making his graded-stakes debut, but his sixth overall as he has two wins (in his third maiden attempt and an allowance race) and a second. However, he also has a fourth and a fifth as well and it’ll be good to see this colt go up against top-notch competition. This will be a big race for Allstar.

Cairo Prince will be the favorite for Saturday’s race after three wins in four starts, breaking his maiden on his first try and in three Grade-2 starts, he has won the Nashua Stakes in November, finished second in the Remsen later that month and then won the Holy Bull Stakes in January. The only question is his closing over 1 1/8 miles as he barely lost to Honor Code in the Remsen at that distance, but if he improved, the field is in trouble.

Constitution broke his maiden on his first try in January and then won an allowance race, both at Gulfstream Park, which could give him a slight advantage. Still, making your graded-stakes debut in a major race like the Florida Derby is a big deal and it’s tough to gauge this colt’s chances.

East Hall has plenty of experience as this will be his 11th start, and he needed three tries to break his maiden. That is his only win in 10 outings, and only his last two have been graded-stakes races, finishing fourth in the Grade-2 Fountain of Derby Stakes in February and eighth in the Grade-2 Tampa Bay Derby earlier this month. He has still never run more than 1 1/16 miles and those were in his last two starts, so East Hall could end up as a darkhorse at Gulfstream Park (where he has already made five starts).

General A. Rod has two wins and two runner-up finishes in four starts, breaking his maiden on his first try in October and then the non-graded Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year’s Day. His second-place runs came in an allowance race and the Fountain of Youth, and this is a very fast colt, but the distance will be the longest of his career so far.

Matador comes from Canada, where he made his first four starts at Woodbine, winning the non-graded Cup and Saucer Stakes, but he also finished third, fourth and seventh. He has finished fourth and fifth the Grade-3 Sam F. Davis Stakes in February and the Tampa Bay Derby, respectively, and Matador may need a little luck to get into the top three against this stellar field.

Spot needed four attempts to break his maiden, finishing 10th in one race over a mile, and then he came in fifth in the Grade-2 Hutcheson Stakes last month. Even though Spot won the Grade-3 Swale Stakes at the beginning of the month, it was again over a mile and this race will be a test of his stamina. Can Spot stay with the field on the backstretch? That will be his major concern on Saturday.

Wildcat Red will be a contender with four wins and two second-place runs in six starts, proving his maiden and allowance wins were no flukes with back-to-back victories in the Hutcheson and the Fountain of Youth. His runner-up results came in the Juvenile Sprint and the Gulfstream Park Derby, and the final part of the race will also be a question Wildcat Red needs to answer because he has never run more than 1 1/16 miles.

How It Will Play Out

This looks like it will come down to a duel between Cairo Prince and Wildcat Red, although General A. Rod could join the party. Look for Cairo Prince to pull out a close victory on the road to Churchill Downs.

Florida Derby Betting Pick: Cairo Prince

Most online sports betting site players have probably encountered some sort of malfunction computer-wise and a simple reboot sometimes clears things up.

The same can be done if one’s handicapping becomes stale, unimaginative and unsuccessful and a little look back to the future and a taste of basic equine thinking can help. So let’s proceed.

Take for instance the general appearance of a runner at say Santa Anita. If watching a feed, it’s not easy to assess physicality but it can be done under the right circumstances and if one works at it, the exercise can be fruitful.

Just like when a human cleans up good and has pep to his or her step, the horse can act the same way. A shiny coat, alert eyes, and a confident strut can go a long way. Conversely, is a horse is antsy, appears upset or has broken out in a definite sweat, then that runner may leave his best chances of winning in the post parade and not on the track.

Focusing on class at major tracks like Gulfsteam and Aqueduct or at little tracks like Turf Paradise or Sunland Park is a tricky thing to do especially now a days when speed because so important. Speed and class are interwoven but just because is dropping down the claiming ladder, that doesn’t always imply a winning race is near.

Number one, they may be dropping because they are not going good physically or they may have just lost confidence. When runners are constantly overmatched, they can just lose the ability to compete. Be very wary of a runner that has no speed and is dropping. Often times, they will still find themselves with much to much work too do turning for the wire.

Number two; nobody gives anything away at the racetrack. A horse is not dropping because he is at the top of his game, he’s dropping because something has been lacking in his recent races.

A change in equipment can really shake a horse up. Young horses are like little babies, they are growing and maturing almost hourly and sometimes their focus just wanders.

Putting blinkers on a runner is done to get the runner to concentrate at the task that is in front of him. Think of if as if you are driving a car. If you are focused entirely on the road ahead and not distracted by the cute girl on the sidewalk or the newest car to your left, then a driver will be safer and able to perform at the best of his ability.

When it comes down to the nitty gritty and betting, connections play a huge part. The successful trainers get the best horses and the best riders get the best horses. Winning begets winning.

If I’m looking at a race and two horses are very even, I’ll almost always give the edge to a runner that is in the more powerful barn.

Finally, online sports betting site players can’t lose track of the thing that makes the world go around. Pace.

Especially in big races, some because of the hype or the aura of an important race can ignore pace but the tempo of the race dictates the result.

A horse that can get a lead all by himself is one of the most dangerous bets in the game and when we find those, capitalize.

Be honest and true to ourselves and look inward for winners.

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