Your best bet for expert analysis and betting news

Looking for an Upset in Florida Derby

Florida Derby
A field of 12 line up in the $1 million Florida Derby. (Photo credit: © Dpselvaggi | Dreamstime.com)

The Todd Pletcher trained Forte comes into the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) as the imposing favorite, but let’s look for a mild upset in the marquee event of the Gulfstream Park meeting.

The 14-race card at Gulfstream Park gets underway at 11:30am ET and the Florida Derby will close out the day more than seven hours later.

The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race, with 100-40-30-20-10 points up for grabs for the top five finishes in the 1 1/8 mile test on the main track.

Watch and wager on the Florida Derby at PlayUp Racebook. New players can earn up to a $250 bonus, wager rewards and free past performances.

Forte won the prep for the Florida Derby, the Fountain of Youth (G2) on March 4 in impressive style, his fifth win in six career starts. His regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. will be aboard and will have to overcome the 11 post in the field of 12.

“He has a beautiful stride. He’s a beautiful mover,” Ortiz said. “The way he is built as a 3-year-old now is impressive. He looks so good and he’s been doing everything good on the track when it’s time to run.”

Three he beat in the Fountain of Youth are back to turn the tables including the lightly raced Mage (10-1), who makes just his third career start for trainer Gustavo Delgado. The colt was fourth in the Fountain of Youth after a troubled trip.

2023 Fountain of Youth Replay

There are a total of 10 stakes on the card on Saturday, including the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), $200,000 Pan American (G2) and the $150,000 Orchid (G3).

Wager $500 on the Florida Derby card on Saturday at PlayUp Racebook and earn a FREE $25 wager.

Let’s head out to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Gulfstream Park Race 14 The Florida Derby (G1) Post time 6:40 ET

4 Mage   10-1

11 Forte   4-5

1 Jungfrau   20-1

10 Fort Bragg   5-1


This colt was nearly seven lengths behind the chalk in here last out in a fourth place finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2). The colt hit the gate and was away last, was rushed up while wide around the turn, and then had to steady in upper stretch. All that in just his second career start and first going two turns. The colt earned a solid number breaking his maiden in his debut two back here at seven furlongs. The fourth-place finisher Perform came out of that race to graduate next out. The colt has the pedigree to handle nine furlongs, by Good Magic out of the stakes winner Puca. He picks up Saez, draws better and still looks as if he has plenty of upside in just his third career start.


The Fountain of Youth winner and early Kentucky Derby favorite, he draws a tough post and likely goes off at less than even money. His return off a four month break was rock solid and came within two points of matching his speed fig from his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile win. His trainer Todd Pletcher has won this race a record six times and it is hard to find any knocks other than the post and puny price.


This guy was sent off at 9-2 in the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct last out in his first start against winners but had a tough trip. He was bumped around coming out of the gate, had to take up off heels heading into the first turn while rank, and was eased in the stretch. The fact his trainer Bill Mott brings him back in this spot bodes well and he sports a couple of good works since his last outing. He picks up Paco and figures to bounce back with a much better effort here at a generous price.


WIN: Mage to win at 5-1 or better.

EXACTA: 4 / 1,5,10,11 and 4,11 / 1,4,11