03/19/2012 12:28PM

Gulfstream Park: Union Rags, El Padrino top prospective field of seven for Florida Derby

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Barbara D. Livingston
Union Rags is being pointed to the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 31.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – A field of at least seven 3-year-olds now seems definite for the $1 million Florida Derby on March 31, led by division leader Union Rags and El Padrino. Other confirmed starters include Take Charge Indy, Neck ’n Neck, News Pending, Reveron, and Fort Loudon.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has yet to commit Alpha to one of three Derby preps. Alpha could run in the Florida Derby, but McLaughlin said recently that the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 7 or the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on April 1 are more likely spots.

News Pending, runner-up to Union Rags in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, looked good working five-eighths in 1:02.44 here Sunday, after which he galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.60 and seven-eighths in 1:28.

“We tried to slow him down today, but I was very pleased with the way he worked,” trainer Dale Romans said. “He’s a horse who wants to run all day. Right now, the plan is to run him in the Florida Derby and try to make enough money to get into the Kentucky Derby. If not, we’ll just wait and run in the Preakness.”

The Fountain of Youth was the first start in a graded stakes for News Pending, who finished a late-running second in an optional claimer on the grass at Gulfstream in his only other start this year. He won a maiden race on the Gulfstream turf in December.

Neck ’n Neck, who finished a troubled fourth behind Union Rags and News Pending in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, worked five furlongs in 1:01.02 at Palm Meadows on Monday for trainer Ian Wilkes. Neck ’n Neck finished fifth in the Grade 3 Sam Davis at Tampa in his race before the Fountain of Youth. His only victory came in a Churchill Downs maiden race last November.

wave10582 More than 1 year ago
Why no one talking about La Derby with 1 million and no stand outs.I think its the easiest race to get into Derby.Why go battle the top 3yr olds El Padrino when he couldve came back to Fairgrounds and been the favorite just so u can say he ran in a grade1.As for Alpha why not pick La derby easy spot and be the favorite and take home 600,000 and grade2 for breeding later.The Fairgrounds get no respect.Its a test to see if your horse can handle long strech before Churchhill kills your horse.
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
that's avery valid point on el padrino behalf. but guess what, union rags is the division leader so if you wanna win the derby you have to beat him so might as well take your shot at him now. if he looses which I think he will then Todd have to go and do some homework. I think is El Padrino is a very talented horse peaking at the right time.
Douglas More than 1 year ago
Look Everyone , I dont think many people are really buying in to the fact that SECRET CIRCLE ran just enough to WIN the REBEL . What Everyone was truly seeing was the fact that SECRET CIRCLE gave the REBEL STAKES everything he had , which is pure heart . That Colt just knows what it takes to WIN . But HONESTLY - I BELIEVE WE CAN SAY THAT ( 1 Mile 1 / 16 ) IS ABOUT THE GOING DISTANCE , MAYBE A MILE , just like THE FACTOR & DRILL ! The Beyer figure of 92 / 94 This far along on a dry track in mid March just will not hold true to form . And there was nothing in that race coming at SECRET CIRCLE other than OPTIMEIZER which is a horse that only picks off the horses slowing down in the stretch IF ANY ARE NOT RESPONDING . We all seen the best that SECRET CIRCLE had . And it is kinda sad to see a wonderful Colt with that much will-power trying so hard , and just knowing in the back of your mind when the ARKANSAS DERBY gets here , SECRET CIRCLE will have No Response thru-out the last 100 yards and will slowly fade . I am not ranking SECRET CIRCLE at all . I just believe SECRET CIRCLE has finally meet his distance as of now as a 3 yr old Colt . SECRET CIRCLE , WELL DONE WINNING THE SOUTHWEST & REBEL . The ONLY HOPE that Baffert and SECRET CIRCLE will have when it comes to the ARKANSAS DERBY is ( HOPING THAT NON OF THE TOP KENTUCKY DERBY CONTENDERS SHOW UP UNEXPECTED ) ...................... If I Had A Horse That Really Needed Graded Stakes Earnings , This Would Be The Place To Be - ARKANSAS DERBY ! It blows my mind away that no trainer / owner has opt to take their Colt to OAKLAWN PARK , like TAKE CHARGE INDY , BODEMEISTER , ALPHA , and many others ! As Bad As AQUEDUCT Track is right now with all the break-downs , that would be my LAST PLACE . I would take HANSEN to TURFWAY PARK and race him in front of their HOMETOWN CROWN . But I am really just a Nobody , so what I say is just TALK . But some-times people with less money THINK SMARTER than people with money
Ricardo Curiel Vallejo More than 1 year ago
fly horse i like
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dale Romans - News Pending . . . Why Not Take News Pending To The ARKANSAS DERBY ! You Would Be The Over-Whelming Favorite I Do Believe Over Secret Circle . Thus Far , From What I Have Seen Out Of The SOUTHWEST & REBEL STAKES , Is A True Lack Of A Superstar Other Than SECRET CIRCLE . And A Beyer In The REBEL STAKES Of Only A 92 / 94 Maybe At This Stage Of The Game With A Horse With Little Talk About The Derby In OPTIMEIZER Closing In On SECRET CIRCLE Hummmmmmmmmmmm WHERE ELSE CAN YOU GO TO FIND A MORE EASIER SPOT FOR GRADED EARNINGS OTHER THAN ( ARKANSAS DERBY ) ! There Is Not A Place . Great SUPERSTARS Must Be Ready To Travel At All Times To Become CHAMPS , Not Just To Nit-Pic Here nor There . You Have An AWESOME 3 Yr Old That Needs Serious Money and In My OPINION : Is The Horse For The Course In The ARKANSAS DERBY To The KENTUCKY DERBY . Not SECRET CIRCLE . Taking Nothing Away From SECRET CIRCLE ......... Just That After TRULY SEEING SECRET CIRCLE WINNING THE REBEL STAKES IN A 92 / 94 BEYER RATING , If I Was Baffert : THE DISTANCE IS GOING TO BE A SERIOUS FACTOR And Really Baffert Has No Choice Now With SECRET CIRCLE After WINNING The SOUTHWEST & REBEL STAKES , Baffert Has To Go For The Gusto In Trying To Cap Off The Triple . What Makes ME VERY ANGRY IS THIS : WHY ARE OWNERS / TRAINERS JUST HANDING BAFFERT THESE RACES . My God , Come On , LETS GET SOME SUPERSTAR COLTS IN THE GATE FOR THE ARKANSAS DERBY .................. There Is Nothing To Fear In SECRET CIRCLE In The ARKANSAS DERBY . Baffert Odds Would Be Better If Baffert Brought BODEMEISTER Along Too With His True Speed . LETS GET SOME QUALITY DERBY CONTENDERS FOR THE ARKANSAS DERBY .
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
how dear u say neck and neck would be the favorite for the Arkansas Derby you forgot about gemologist who is undefeated,had a walk in the park in a high stakes allowance race on Friday's card at Gulfstream. With a Tiz Now breeding the bred so far if he goes to the Arkansas derby he will surely be the favorite.
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
Gemologist basically ran a 6f workout in 1:11. The first 1/4 mile was a sloooooow walk. if you think that prep has him ready to beat a horse like Alpha or union Rags, you are way off base. The good one run fast ALL THE WAY, not just the last half of the race.
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
did you bare in mind that this horse have'nt run since early November and it's almost April that was a dazzling performance over a grade 1 winner in currency swap. news pending has never one a stakes race in his life. For sure gemologist is gonna move forward off of that performance and i hope they bring news pending to Arkansas along with secret circle. While you're at it please keep in mind that this colt out of tiznow is undefeated and have the best breeding so far out of the top 20 three year olds.
WAWHITE5 More than 1 year ago
I think the great Charlie W (the bald eagle) said something like " time is only meaningful to someone in prison". Secret Circle ran as fast as he had to for the win. Take another look at his pattern of development after he explodes to another level in an important race soon. I think that he will easily beat your pretenders.
Nick Gunritz More than 1 year ago
Sounds like the Bald Eagle facetious, or he was talking about a turf horse. Can't really defend the fact that a g3 stake for fillies and mares went in more tgan a second faster than secret circle earlier on the card
jose mesa More than 1 year ago
I predict UR will ad to his graded bankroll in the Florida Derby but Im not predicting or advocating a win bet in this prospective field he will go off less than even money.
cory s More than 1 year ago
Neck and neck has 2 extremely troubled trips in a row. If you watched his previous races he is screaming out for more ground. Plus his win was at CD and very impressive. If he can run well here and get a seat the Derby table you will be hearing from him late. Hopefully with a jock change....maybe to calvin....
Nick Gunritz More than 1 year ago
Someone needs to explain the difference between EPs allowance win at gstream and URs FOY.