Early 2014 Kentucky Derby Favorite Cairo Prince in Action in Florida Derby

Cairo Prince, who is currently listed at 10-1 in Kentucky Derby Future Wagering at Bovada makes his final prep for the Run for the Roses on Saturday as the 9-5 morning line favorite in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the colt will be making his first start since winning the Holy Bull (G2) over the Gulfstream Park main track on Jan. 25, which sent his early Derby price downward. The colt is currently the co-favorite at 10-1 along with California Chrome, recent winner of the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita.

The Florida Derby is one of three Derby points races on Saturday. At Fair Grounds, a field of 10 will line up in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2). Risen Star (G2) winner Intense Holiday is the 2-1 morning line favorite for trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt is listed at 25-1 in Derby future wagering at Bovada.

There are six other runners coming out of the Risen Star looking to turn the tables on the winner. Among them is Albano, who set the early fractions and was nailed at the wire by the winner, beaten just a nose at 13-1.

The Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network at 6:30 (ET). Both races offer 100-40-20-10 points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby.

The $2 million UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai is also a Derby points race and could produce a starter or two for the Run for the Roses.

The Aidan O’Brien trained Giovanni Boldini is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The colt was last seen running second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita last fall. O’Brien has won the last two runnings of the UAE Derby with Lines of Battle and Daddy Long Legs, and both made the trip to Louisville on the first Saturday of May, although neither was a factor.

Let’s take a close look at the Florida Derby:

Gulfstream Park Race 14 The Florida Derby (G1) (6:48 ET)

4 Constitution   4-1
3 Cairo Prince   9-5
2 Matador   15-1
8 Spot   8-1

Analysis: Constitution makes his stakes debut here for the Todd Pletcher barn off a sharp win last out against a solid field of Alw-1 optional claimers at Gulfstream Park in his first start around two turns. The colt broke his maiden in his debut going seven furlongs despite getting off a beat slow. The fact he came from off the pace in his debut is encouraging as Wildcat Red and General a Rod both bring early zip.

The colt has enough pedigree to handle nine furlongs. He is by Tapit out of a Distorted Humor mare that won going long and this is her first foal to race. Pletcher won this race in 2007 with Scat Daddy. While the Fountain of Youth (G2) is the key prep for this race, three of the last six winners of the race exited allowance races.

Cairo Prince makes his first start since winning the Holy Bull (G2) on Jan. 25 where he talked the early pace and drew off smartly to win by 5 3/4 lengths. The third place finisher in the race as Intense Holiday, who came back to win the Risen Star (G2) at fair Grounds and is a major player in today's Louisiana Derby (G2). 

The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has won three of his four starts with the lone blemish a nose loss to Honor Code in the Remsen (G2) last November at Aqueduct. The Remsen was at nine furlongs and he should have no problem handling the distance here and owns solid late pace numbers.

Matador adds blinkers here after making a mild late run to finish fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Two back he was fourth in the Sam F. Davis (G3), but was beaten just a length for the top spot. His lone win came in the Canadian bred Cup and Saucer on turf and his only two starts on conventional dirt came at Tampa, a surface some runners just do not like.

The colt makes his third start off the bench for the Mark Casse barn and is going to be a price. He should be running late if the early pace is brisk and can be in the mix.

WIN: #4 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 2,3,4,8
TRI: 3,4 / 2,3,4,8 / 2,3,4,6,8

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