It’s Derby Day at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. The $750,000 Florida Derby (Gr. 1) is scheduled to run on Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream. The winner will receive 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, 40 points goes to 2nd, and 20 points goes to 3rd. You can find the remaining schedule on the Road to the Kentucky Derby on our early Kentucky Derby preview page. Along with the schedule, you can find our early bird future selections for the 147th Kentucky Derby. Outsider Bezos put on an impressive display at Santa Anita Park on Friday afternoon, as he might be a longshot horse that is worth paying attention to in the next month.
The Florida Derby isn’t the only big event at Gulfstream Park on Saturday afternoon. There are nine other stakes races on the card, including the $200,000 Pan American Stakes (Gr. 2) and $200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (Gr. 2) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. We will have another card covered at the horse racing page, so keep your eyes there if you want more horse racing picks for today. Gulfstream Park has a total of $2,034,000 in prize money available in Hallandale Beach. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park selections and Florida Derby pick for March 27, 2021.
Race 8 – Ghostzapper Stakes
Post Time: 2:57 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
In Race 8 we have the $100,000 Ghostzapper Stakes, a 1 ⅛ mile event on the dirt featuring seven expected runners. War Stopper and Last Judgment should have a strong presence in Race 8 here. War Stopper is a three-time winner, but still in search of his first graded win.
He had back-to-back wins on December 9 and January 31, War Stopper beat Roman Empire by 3 lengths in a $47,000 event, and then followed through for a 1 length win in a $52,000 event. That prompted an entry into the $100,000 Michelob Ultra Challenger Stakes (Gr. 3) on March 6.
War Stopper showed 3rd in that race, finishing 3 ½ lengths behind Last Judgement for the top spot in that race. Last Judgement was clear over the field by 2 lengths at the ¾ pole and had no problems cruising from there. He led at the wire over Modernist by 2 ¼ lengths for an impressive display.
Last Judgment is 7 for 16 in his career, with a couple of stakes wins in two of his previous three outings. He defeated Noble Drama by 6 ½ lengths over in the $75,000 Sunshine Classic Stakes, and the win over War Stopper in the $100,000 Michelob Ultra Challenger noted above. Drawing the inside rail out of the gate, expect another winning gallop for Last Judgment.
Race 11 – Cutler Bay Stakes
Post Time: 4:43 p.m. EST
Race 11 is a $100,000 event covering a mile on the turf at Gulfstream Park. Nine runners are expected to run on the grass in this race. Annex and Hyperfocus should run strong races with a chance to strike at the wire. Hyperfocus is a two-time winner on May 9 and February 12. He beat Peppi by 1 ¼ lengths in a $65,000 assignment in May as a rookie, and then followed up in 5th in his stakes debut on June 27 in the Bashford Manor Stakes (Gr. 3).
Hyperfocus responded down in class on February 12 by a neck in a $47,000 assignment. He’s open to improvement, but will need to find it on Saturday to get to the winner’s circle. The favorable post position on the rail helps. In three workouts in March, Hyperfocus was timed at 50.09, 49.42, and 48.90 seconds. Hyperfocus was purchased for $100,000 in 2019 and is expected to compete in this type of class.
Annex is a two-time winner in two attempts. He’s been perfect for William Mott thus far, including a win in the $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes in his most recent outing on February 27. Annex defeated Shaftesbury by a length in a $50,000 event on January 16, and then edged out Scarlett Sky by a head in the stakes race. He’s continuing to get better, and that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the field on Saturday afternoon.
Race 14 – Florida Derby
Post Time: 6:40 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The Florida Derby is the feature event of the weekend in the US. 11 horses are expected to compete for a $750,000 purse on the dirt. Collaborate and Greatest Honour should have a good chance to win the top prize in this one, including 100 points for the Kentucky Derby. Collaborate made great strides in the right direction after finishing 5th on February 6 in a $50,000 event as a rookie. In his next assignment, Collaborate came back strong to win. Collaborate beat Bennyfromthebronx by 12 ½ lengths in a romp for a $55,000 purse.
That’s what we were expecting to see from this $600,000 colt, and he’s open to even more improvement after two starts. This is a big step up for Collaborate, but if he continues getting stronger like we saw from his first to next race, then an upset shouldn’t be that crazy for the 6/1 Collaborate. Greatest Honour is hot and hot on the Road to the Kentucky Derby trail. He’s one of the top selections to win the Kentucky Derby going by the odds.
Greatest Honour is rolling with three straight wins from December 26 to February 27. His most recent performance in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. 2) firmly puts Greatest Honour in the Kentucky Derby hunt. He surged past Drain the Clock for a 1 ½ length win. If he went all out earlier, I’m sure the win could have been much bigger. The extra distance from 1 1/16 miles to 1 ⅛ miles should help on Saturday. He’s going to be tough to beat in the Florida Derby.