Kentucky Derby Preps 2017: Florida, Louisiana Derby, Blue Grass Stakes Live TV, Post Positions & Odds

Image of Jockey Javier Castellano Florida Derby
Jockey Javier Castellano By Cake6 via Wikimedia Commons

Brace yourself horse racing fans because Saturday’s double header of thoroughbred racing will feature two of the biggest contests in the Florida and Louisiana Derby. Today’s races will kick off a month long series of Grade II stake races that will help determine the field leading up to the Kentucky Derby this May.

First of all, let’s take a look at the Florida Derby.

Gunnevera comes in as the early favorite at 9-5.  Fresh off of winning the Fountain of Youth by over five lengths back on March 4, the son of Dialed In is the morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $1 million, Grade I Xpressbet Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. A win here could all but sew up a spot in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.

The Florida Derby is a big race for all of the horses entered, as 100 points will be up for grabs in the pool. The Florida Derby points system offers points on a 100-40-20-10 scale to the top four finishers toward the Kentucky Derby, so finishing first or second would be great, although a first place showing is what all of these horses will obviously be shooting for.

Always Dreaming is another horse to keep your eye on at the Florida Derby. A son of Bodemeister, he won an allowance optional claiming race on March 4 at Gulfstream Park by four lengths. Post time is set for 6:40 p.m. ET, and TVG will televise all of the action live.

Here is the complete field and all the information you need to know about the Florida Derby.

  • Post time: 6:40 p.m. EDT at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
  • Purse: $1 million. Grade: I. Distance: 1 1/8 miles.
  • TV: TVG
  • Live Stream: Gulfstreampark.com/racing/live-stream

Florida Derby Field

  1. State of Honor — Julien Leparoux, 8-1
  2. Talk Logistics –Joe Bravo, 30-1
  3. Charlie the Greek — Leonel Reyes, 50-1
  4. Always Dreaming — John Velazquez, 4-1
  5. Quinientos — Carlos Montalvo, 50-1
  6. Coleman Rocky — Jose Ortiz, 30-1
  7. Unbridled Holiday — Nik Juarez, 30-1
  8. Impressive Edge — Corey Lanerie, 12-1
  9. Battalion Runner — John Velazquez, 3-1
  10. Three Rules — Luis Saez, 8-1
  11. Gunnevera — Javier Castellano, 9-5

Onto the Louisiana Derby. While the Louisiana Derby may not have the flare of the Florida Derby this year, it still has top notch competition. The No. 1 horse, Patch, is one horse to keep your eyes on. Ironically, Patch will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, a regular at Gulfstream Park.

Patch, who is currently listed at 9-2, is second on the odds board behind the favorite Girvin. Girvin won his previous start by two-lengths, capturing the Risen Star Stakes. He is the 8-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Louisiana Derby and will once again be ridden by Brian Hernandez, Jr.

Here is all the information you need for the 2017 Louisiana Derby:

  • Post time: 6:21 p.m. EDT at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.
  • Purse: $1 million. Grade: II. Distance: 1 1/8 miles.
  • TV: TVG

Louisiana Derby Field

  1. Patch — Tyler Gaffalione, 9-2
  2. Hollywood Handsome — Francisco Torres, 12-1
  3. Local Hero — Florent Geroux, 7-2
  4. Senior Investment — Channing Hill, 12-1
  5. Monaco — Rajiv Maragh, 12-1
  6. Guest Suite — Robby Albarado, 4-1
  7. Sorry Erik — Kent Desormeaux, 30-1
  8. Girvin — Brian Hernandez Jr., 8-5
  9. Hotfoot — James Graham, 30-1

Blue Grass Stakes

The Blue Grass Stakes will take place on April 8 and be aired on NBC Sports Network along with TVG. Here is a quick look at the field and odds as of April 6.

  1. It’s Your Nickel, Kenny McPeek, James Graham, 20-1
  2. McCraken, Ian Wilkes, Brian Hernandez Jr., 7-5
  3. J Boys Echo, Dale Romans, Robby Albarado, 4-1
  4. Tapwrit, Todd Pletcher, Jose Ortiz, 5-2
  5. Wild Shot, Rusty Arnold, Corey Lanerie, 15-1
  6. Irap, Doug O’Neill, Julien Leparoux, 20-1
  7. Practical Joke, Chad Brown, Joel Rosario, 7-2