Derby Bill picks the Florida Derby card
Racing at Gulfstream. Photo courtesy of Gulfstream Park.
The legendary Derby Bill Watson, the original on-air handicapper for Colonial Downs and a man revered for his lenghty Triple Crown winning streak, returns to action today. He’s got picks for all of the stakes on Gulfstream Park’s big Florida Derby day card.
Let’s see what he’s got:
|4. Cutler Bay S.||10. Decorated Invader (7-2)||9. South Bend (4-1)||6. Vitalogy (5-2)||G1 winner top choice makes season bow; was beaten a length in BC Juvy Turf|
|6. G3 Hal’s Hope S.||1. Harvey Wallbanger (4-1)||6. American Tattoo (3-1)||3. You’re to Blame (7-2)||McPeek-trained ‘banger tuned up by crushing ALW foes here; won Holy Bull over strip last year|
|7. Sanibel Island S.||7. Walk in Marrakesh (6-1)||5. Cheermeister (7-2)||1. Lucky Polly (9-2)||Top choice just missed in two graded events, finds cozier spot here; can’t let #5 steal it on front end, as that one has done twice in a row|
|8. Sir Shackleton S.||1. Bourbon Calling (10-1)||5. Bourbon Resolution (8-1)||8. Vekoma (9-2)||Could be a boozy day for Derby Bill if this triple hits – drink up!|
|9. Sand Springs S.||5. Newspaperofrecord (9-5)||2. Zofelle (9-2)||7. Getmotherarose (6-1)||With scratch of heavy fave, slide Irish-bred Zofelle in on top; won three straight before bad-trip defeat in last; #4 Smart Shot (20-1) a playable longshot after middle move in G3 in last behind G1 winner|
|10. G3 Orchid S.||5. Gentle Ruler (7-2)||12. Elizabeth Way (9-2)||6. Mean Mary (3-1)||Top choice only one here w/ a win at the trip, and she’s got two; improving Elizabeth Way rates a look with two straight wins while increasing distance, showing versatility|
|11. G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks||5. Spice Is Nice (3-1)|
9. Tonalist’s Shape (5-2)
|8. Dream Marie (15-1)||‘Spice’ ran a good one in 2nd start when 2nd to more experienced ‘Shape,’ can turn tables|
|12. G2 Pan American S.||9. Zulu Alpha (3-5)||1. Channel Cat (9-2)||10. Focus Group (8-1)||‘Zulu’ looks too good for these; best upset shot might be ‘Channel’ gunning for loose lead|
|13. G3 Appleton S.||1. English Bee (8-1)||10. Somebeyay (7-2)||4. Ballagh Rocks (6-1)||Useful season bow for ‘Bee’ when rallying to just miss vs. favorite here, Somebeyay; G3 winner ‘Ballagh’ looks to be rounding into form after missing most of ’18, ’19 seasons|
|14. G1 Florida Derby||7. Tiz the Law (6-5)||9. Independence Hall (9-2)||5. Gouverneur Morris (8-1)||Trainer Tagg’s considered approach has ‘Law’ a strong favorite and one win from a Derby berth; ‘Independence’ attended fast pace in TAM and stayed on willingly|