GI Florida Derby

Fierceness Pointing To Belmont Stakes

Fierceness (City of Light), the beaten favorite in the GI Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to make his next start in the GI Belmont S. on June 8 in Saratoga. "He has settled in well and we are pointing to the Belmont," trainer Todd Pletcher said in a text. Sent off at 3-1, Fierceness finished 15th, beaten 24 1/2 lengths in the Derby. When asked if his colt had any excuses in the Derby, Pletcher replied: "Perhaps too close to a fast pace? Stuck a little wide on both turns?" Following...

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Florida Derby Champ Fierceness With 'Super' Work; West Saratoga Breezes At Keeneland

GI Florida Derby champ Fierceness (City of Light) breezed at Palm Beach Downs on Friday morning in preparation for the GI Kentucky Derby. The Eclipse Award winner covered five furlongs in 1:00.35 under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, while working in company with fellow 'TDN Rising Star' Agate Road (Quality Road). "I thought he worked super--a solid five-eighths with a good gallop-out, exactly what we were targeting," Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said. "I think he is doing every bit as good, if not better, than he was...

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Week In Review: The Horse to Beat in the Derby? It's Sierra Leone

When Fierceness (City of Light) put on a show in the GI Florida Derby there didn't seem to be any question over who the favorite would be in the GI Kentucky Derby. The Mike Repole-homebred put on quite a show that day, winning by a record 13 1/2 lengths while earning a 110 Beyer figure, the fastest dirt number recorded by any horse this year. He gave the impression that if he could duplicate that race in the Kentucky Derby, there wouldn't be a horse on the planet that could...

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The Two Towers Of Graded Stakes, Oaklawn And Gulfstream, Align Saturday

If you do not happen to be a Lord of the Rings devotee, then as a horse racing fan you might assume that Gandalf, Frodo, Saruman and Sauron were just names some eccentric owners concocted to toy with The Jockey Club. Well, for true disciples of Tolkein, you understand the 'Two Towers' reference is a major theme in the trilogy, but for our purposes it simply denotes coverage. This Saturday, both Oaklawn Park and Gulfstream Park are those poles of power when it comes to authoring graded stakes. Their cards...

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'TDN Rising Star' Fierceness Drills for Florida Derby

Repole Stable's Fierceness (City of Light), who was named a 'TDN Rising Star' after he broke his maiden at first asking at Saratoga last August, breezed five furlongs Friday morning at Palm Beach Downs in preparation for the GI Curlin Florida Derby Mar. 30 at Gulfstream Park, the track said in a release late Friday afternoon. The 2023 Eclipse Award 2-year-old champion, who finished third in the Feb. 3 GIII Holy Bull S., breezed in company with Spendthrift Farm's Tuscan Sky (Vino Rosso). The Todd Pletcher-trained duo was timed in...

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Holy Bull Winner Hades To Wait For Florida Derby

All continues to go smoothly for D. J. Stable and Robert Cotran's undefeated GIII Holy Bull S. winner Hades (Awesome Slew), a trend trainer Joe Orseno hopes to see continue as the colt sits out Saturday's GII Coolmore Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park to await the GI Florida Derby. Since his two length score in the first leg of the Florida series, Hades has worked twice at four furlongs and at a mile, which prompted the connections to give the second leg some consideration before deciding to pass....

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Pletcher Unveils Plans For 3-Year-Old Stars

The road to the GI Kentucky Derby has been unkind to Todd Pletcher so far this year, but that may be about to change. The Hall of Fame trainer is ready to regroup and will look to win the March 30 GI Florida Derby with Fierceness (City of Light) and the March 2 GII Fountain of Youth with Locked (Gun Runner). Locked, who is the 10-1 favorite beyond the "all others" option in the latest round of the Derby Future Wager, was originally scheduled to make his debut in the...

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Fierceness Comes Out Of Holy Bull In Good Order

'TDN Rising Star' Fierceness (City of Light), a disappointing third in his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's GIII Holy Bull S., exited the race in good order, reports owner Mike Repole. "He's perfectly fine," Repole said in a text message. Fierceness, the 2023 2-Year-Old male Eclipse champion, was coming off an overpowering win in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile and most believed he would pick up right where he left off in the Holy Bull, where he was the 1-5 favorite. Instead, he finished third, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. When asked...

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Thursday's Insights: War Front Juvenile Seeks Brevet In Del Mar Maiden

1st-DMR, $82K, Msw, 2yo, 5fT, 5:00 p.m. EISENHOWER (War Front), a juvenile homebred colt for Ramona S. Bass and Perry R. Bass II, debuts for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella in the Del Mar opener. Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, the bay is out of GSW and MGISP My Miss Sophia (Unbridled's Song), who counts GI Florida Derby champ Materiality (Afleet Alex) as a half brother. In addition to Eisenhower, she is also responsible for his full brothers: GISW Annapolis, who is also campaigned by Bass Racing and Alpha Delta...

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Pletcher Derby Crew Works Before Heading To Louisville

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable's 'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence) returned to training Friday morning for his last local work before shipping to Louisville to begin final preparations for the GI Kentucky Derby. Working in company with Bright Future, a 4-year-old son of Curlin, the Derby favorite went a half-mile in :50.28 at Palm Beach Downs for trainer Todd Pletcher, according to Mike Welsch of DRF. "With Forte we were just looking for a nice, easy first work back. He ran in the Florida Derby 13 days ago and...

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Todd Pletcher Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Trainer Todd Pletcher joins this week's TDN Writers' Room ahead of champion Forte's bid in the GI Curlin Florida Derby.

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TAA Drive Returns To Florida Derby Day

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) will be present Apr. 1 once again for Florida Derby Day at Gulfstream Park, which includes the GI Curlin Florida Derby, they said in a release on Thursday. Partnering with 1/ST Racing, the TAA will be recognized with a named race on the day's undercard and a presentation to the winning connections will include a branded blanket and swag bag. Additionally, the organization will take part in the Best Turned Out Horse Awards, and jockeys will have the opportunity to pledge their mount fee. The...

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