March 17, 1991 |
There were two surprises yesterday at Gulfstream Park, where a track-record 34,836 watched the 40th running of the Florida Derby. Fly So Free, the undefeated 1990 2-year-old champion and everybody's Kentucky Derby favorite, won by only a length. And Jackie Wackie, the highly regarded Florida-bred who was supposed to give him a race, who had placed first nine straight times and who was the 3-1 second favorite, finished next to last in the eight-horse field, never a factor.
April 1, 2012 |
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A couple of smart guys, ready to make another move to the betting windows at Gulfstream Park, set their sights on the day's main event, the $1.1 million Florida Derby. "You think this track is speed favoring?" the one guy said. "I'm still not betting against Union Rags," the other answered. "I'm not either," the first said. All eyes Saturday were on Union Rags. NBC's cameras never moved as the rest of the field passed going to the track before the race.
March 9, 1995 |
You won't recognize their names. Flitch. Kresa. Suave Prospect. King's Fiction. Oliver's Twist. There are no Cinderella stories among them. No media stars. Cinch. Star Standard. Thunder Gulch. Mecke. Jambalaya Jazz. No undefeated runners. No long winning streaks. Not one of the 10 colts entered in Saturday's $500,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park has been seriously considered among Kentucky Derby future book bettors in Las Vegas this winter. The stars seem to be on the West Coast this year.
March 31, 2012 |
By sunset on Saturday, the Union Rags story will include another important chapter. If this colt, trained by Michael Matz of Barbaro fame and owned by Chadds Ford's Phyllis Wyeth, wins the $1 million Florida Derby impressively, Union Rags won't just be the Kentucky Derby favorite - he already has that claim - but the buzz will grow that maybe this is the year for a Triple Crown horse. It might seem unfair, even crazy, to put that kind of label on a 3-year-old, given the difficulties of the Triple Crown path, but it's a common early-spring fever, and Union Rags picks up believers with every stride, including during workouts.
March 12, 2000 |
Another one of horse racing's fairy tales began taking shape here yesterday afternoon when sentimental favorite Hal's Hope, bred, owned, trained and named by 88-year-old Harold Rose, a one-time Philadelphia businessman, won the Florida Derby. The dark brown, Florida-bred colt, which cost Rose a $10,000 stud fee in 1997, won in a photo-finish over the even-money favorite, High Yield, a million-dollar son of Storm Cat, trained by D. Wayne Lukas. A 50-1 shot, Tahkodha Hills, was third, 10 lengths behind the leaders.
April 2, 2012 |
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Horse trainer Michael Matz woke up Sunday about 4 a.m. and, as he always does, looked at his phone. He's got an app on the phone attached to a camera outside the stall of his big horse, Union Rags. "He was just laying down in the stall, laying there with his head on the side, just really resting," Matz said later Sunday morning. "When he's like that, he really takes care of himself well. " On Saturday, Union Rags had finished third as the 2-5 favorite in the Florida Derby.
March 14, 1998 |
Here we go. Blue skies. White clouds. Ocean breeze. Swaying palms. Perfect weather for the start of Kentucky Derby Fever season, which officially begins today, Florida Derby day at Gulfstream. From now until May 2, when the famous Run for the Roses kicks off for the 124th time at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., it will be the usual spring epidemic: hallucinations and palpitations. The odds are overwhelming that the winning Kentucky Derby trifecta will include one or more of the horses running here this afternoon.
May 2, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Normandy Invasion, runner-up in the Wood Memorial, is named for the pivotal Allied assault in World War II. Rick Porter, the colt's owner, decided he could do more to honor that effort than simply naming a horse. He has arranged for four veterans of that campaign to join him at the Derby. "Three of them were on the beaches for the D-Day invasion," said Porter, a Wilmington native who has two-second place finishes in the Derby with Hard Spun (2007) and Eight Belles (2008)
April 2, 2013
Orb has moved to the head of the 3-year-old class after winning the Florida Derby on Saturday. The colt has won four in a row, and replaced Verrazano as No. 1 on the Associated Press's Top 10 list of Kentucky Derby contenders. Orb was fourth last week. Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb defeated No. 5 Itsmyluckyday by 23/4 lengths in his final prep before the Derby on May 4. Revolutionary moved up three spots to No. 3 after his win in the Louisiana Derby on Saturday. Verrazano will have a chance to reclaim the top spot in the Wood Memorial this weekend.
May 6, 2011 |
If you love the pageantry and color of the Kentucky Derby but just wish the excitement could last a little longer, the 137th edition of the world's greatest horse race is made for you. There are several words that can describe the 20 thoroughbreds that will leave the starting gate for the 11th race at Churchill Downs late Saturday afternoon. "Beautiful" is one of them. "Expensive" is another. But the operative word as it pertains to the running of the race - using the verb generously - is "slow.