Forte Leads Gulfstream Alumni on Derby Leaderboard
G1 Florida Derby Hero, Six Others Make Top 20
Thursday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $100,000
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Always a popular destination on the Road to the Triple Crown, Gulfstream Park will certainly be well represented in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) field.
Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Forte, the impressive winner of the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) and the Fountain of Youth (G2) during the recently concluded Championship Meet, holds the top spot on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard based on qualifying points. Six other 3-year-olds that competed during this year’s Championship Meet are included in the Top 20 of leading point-getters with two others sitting 21st and 22nd following Saturday’s action.
Whisper Hill Farms LLC’s Tapit Trice, who captured a Feb. 4 allowance at Gulfstream by eighth lengths before a victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) and Saturday’s Blue Grass (G1), and Vegso Racing Stable’s Lord Miles, who finished third in the Jan. 1 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream before pulling off a 59-1 upset in Saturday’s Wood Memorial (G2), rank No. 4 and No. 6, respectively.
Forte and Tapit Trice are trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, who is also represented on the leaderboard with Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Kingsbarns, the Louisiana Derby (G2) winner who sits at No. 8. The son of Uncle Mo launched his career impressively in a Jan. 14 maiden special weight victory before remaining undefeated in a Tampa Bay Downs allowance and the Louisiana Derby.
Saffie Joseph Jr. trains Lord Miles at Gulfstream.
Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc.’s Rocket Can, who captured the Holy Bull (G3) and finished second in the Fountain of Youth (G2) before a fourth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1), ranks No. 10 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Trainer Gustavo Delgado and partners’ Mage sits at No. 16 after finishing second in the Curlin Florida Derby and fourth in the Fountain of Youth following a debut victory during the Championship Meet.
Rodeo Creek Racing Inc.’s Blazing Sevens, the 2022 Champaign (G1) winner who finished third in Saturday’s Blue Grass following an off-the-board finish in the Fountain of Youth, is No. 17 on the leaderboard.
Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Castleton Lyons’ Cyclone Mischief, third in both the Fountain of Youth and Curlin Florida Derby for trainer Dale Romans, and Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Major Dude, whom Pletcher saddled for a victory in the Kitten’s Joy (G3) on turf at Gulfstream before finishing second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), are sitting just outside the Top 20 at No. 21 and No. 22, respectively.
Notes: Jockey Emisael Jaramillo tripled on Sunday’s program, riding the winners of the Early Double, Oaxaca ($6.60) in Race 1 and Dove in Charge ($20) in Race 2, before scoring aboard Pletcher-trained first-time starter Bella Romanza ($31) in Race 5.
Ailsa Morrison, who was sidelined for more than four months with a knee injury, made a return to the winner’s circle on her fourth mount back after guiding Gone Nuts ($7.20) to victory in Race 10 Sunday.
Looking ahead: Juvenile racing season gets underway Thursday and Friday. A field of nine 2-year-old fillies has been assembled for a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight race in Thursday’s Race 1. A group of seven juveniles has been entered in an open maiden special weight race at 4 ½ furlongs that will open Friday’s card.
Trainer Wesley Ward, universally known for his early-season success with juveniles, has entered Quiver of Fear, a homebred daughter of Tale of the Cat, in both races.
Live racing will resume Thursday, when the 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000.