The last time we saw Cairo Prince he was sprinting away from the field in the Holy Bull en route to an easy 5 3/4 length win over Conquest Titan and Intense Holiday. That was January 25th. Since that day at Gulfstream Park, Cairo Prince remained on the training track but away from real competition and, as a result, he enters Saturday's Florida Derby in just 18th place on the current Kentucky Derby Standings with 18 points.
This weekend's prep races - the Florida and Louisiana Derbies - begin the 100-40-20-10 points stage of the 2014 Road to the Kentucky Derby. And while a fourth place finish and 10 points might be enough to get Cairo Prince into the starting gate at Churchill Downs, third place or better would make the next five weeks a lot easier on the connections. Fortunately for Cairo Prince and his connections, he'll probably have to throw in a real clunker of a race of finish to finish out of the top three.
The Florida Derby field will also feature the 1-2 finishers from the Fountain of Youth (Wildcat Red and General a Rod), along with Todd Pletcher's Constitution, a nice looking Tapit colt that's a perfect 2-for-2 in his brief career.
Fountain of Youth winner Wildcat Red sits at 50 points on the current Derby standings and is in good shape for a spot in the starting gate, regardless of his performance on Saturday. General a Rod has earned 20 points and could use a top 3 finish to sew up his spot in Louisville.
Joining the top four contenders in the field are:
- Matador: Fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 8th and fourth in the Sam F. Davis in early February.
- East Hall: A well-beaten eighth in the Tampa Bay Derby and fourth in the Fountain of Youth.
- Allstar: Winner of an N1X allowance race at Calder in late February but untested at the graded stakes level.
- Spot: Won the Swale at seven panels back on March 1st but will be trying a route of ground for the first time in the Florida Derby.
Along with the Florida Derby (the final of 13 races on the card), Gulfstream will feature the G3-Rampart Stakes (race 4), G2-Gulfstream Oaks (race 6), Sir Shackleton Stakes (race 8), G3-Orchid Stakes (race 10), G3-Appleton Stakes (race11), and G3-Skip Away Stakes (race 12)
Below are the entries, post positions and odds for the 2014 Florida Derby:
|1||Wildcat Red||J. Velazquez||J. Garaffalo||3/1|
|2||Matador||J. Leparoux||M. Casse||15/1|
|3||Cairo Prince||L. Saez||K. McLaughlin||9/5|
|4||Constitution||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher||4/1|
|5||East Hall||J. Leyva||W. Kaplan||20/1|
|6||General a Rod||J. Rosario||M. Maker||7/2|
|7||Allstar||O. Bocachica||M. Vitali||30/1|
|8||Sport||C. Lanerica||N, Zito||8/1|