The 62nd edition of the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park has drawn a field of 10 3-year-olds with some of the best runners heading for the Kentucky Derby.
The Florida Derby is the first of the final group of Kentucky Derby preps with 100 points available to the winner in determining the field for the 139th Run for the Roses on May 4.
Holy Bull Stakes winner Itsmyluckyday is the 2-1 morning line favorite and will be ridden by Elvis Trujillo from post 3. The colt is trained by Ed Plesa Jr. for Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa, the trainer's wife.
"If I had drawn a map for his training since the Holy Bull it couldn't have gone any better than it has," said Plesa. "I wouldn't change a thing about what we planned for him."
The colt has five wins in nine career starts for $425,600. Itsmyluckyday began the year with a front-running victory in the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year's Day.
Eclipse Award winner Shanghai Bobby will try to make amends for a season opening defeat in the Holy Bull Stakes. The colt, second in the Holy Bull, has drawn the rail post with Rosie Napravnik again riding. Shanghai Bobby is the 5-2 second pick in the program.
"He got beat fair and square, but I hope it will move him forward. I know there is a question if he can get the distance, but with his heart and determination my expectations are as high as ever," noted Jack Wolf, managing partner of owner Starlight Racing.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Shanghai Bobby was voted 2012 champion 2-year-old male following his win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and going undefeated in five starts. He comes into the race with earnings of $1,767,000.
The 3-1 third choice is Fountain of Youth Stakes champ Orb. Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb will be ridden by John Velazquez from post 6.
"He doesn't necessarily have to win Saturday to go to the (Kentucky) Derby, but he has to run the right kind of race. If he doesn't, we won't go. I want the horse to take me there. The pace is out of my hands. We'll let him run his race. His style and pedigree say he will go the distance."
Owned by Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable, Orb has three wins in six starts for $321,050.
The Fountain of Youth was the colt's second start of the year after winning an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream on Jan. 26. Orb broke his maiden in his fourth start on Nov. 24 at Aqueduct.
In post position order here is the field for the Florida Derby: Shanghai Bobby, Rosie Napravnik; Pick of the Litter, Jesus Castanon; Itsmyluckyday, Elvis Trujillo; Pontiff, Alan Garcia; Frac Daddy, Corey Lanerie; Orb, John Velazquez; Indy's Illusion, Rajiv Maragh; Merit Man, Kent Desormeaux; Are You Kidding Me, Jose Lezcano and Narvaez, Paco Lopez.
Post-time for the 62nd Florida Derby will be approximately 6:19 p.m. (ET).