The $1 million Florida Derby (G1) is a major prep for the Kentucky Derby, run 5 weeks before the big event. A field of 8 three-year-olds went 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream on Sunday, with Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) winner Union Rags was sent off as the 2-5 favorite, his lone career defeat occurring in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice El Padrino, winner of the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds last out, and 7-1 third choice Take Charge Indy, winless since his debut and exiting a runner-up effort in an allowance.
Jockey Calvin Borel sent Take Charge Indy to the rail and to the lead first time past the stands, and he set easy fractions of 23.60, 47.71, and 1:12.09 over the fast track, while pressed by 31-1 Reveron to his outside. Union Rags stalked the pace about 3 lengths back in 5th. Entering the stretch, the pacesetters continued to hold onto the lead, getting the mile in 1:35.96. Union Rags put in a strong rally but Take Charge Indy easily held off Reveron late by 1 length for the win in 1:48.79. It was just a neck back to Union Rags third.
Results Chart from Daily Racing Form
Thanks to Amber Chalfin for the photographs.