2019 Florida Derby Odds and Preview: Can Anybody Beat Hidden Scroll?

Credit:

Douglas DiFelice, USA Today Sports.

Mar 30, 2019, 06:25 PM EDT
  • The 2019 Florida Derby takes place on Saturday evening (6:36 p.m. ET) on NBC Sports Network.
  • Hidden Scroll is the 5-2 favorite but Adam Staple thinks a few other horses have a chance to upset the odds.

As things begin to get hot and heavy in preparations for the Kentucky Derby on May 4th, this Saturday’s major event for 3-year-olds is the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park (6:36 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

It’s a wide-open affair that should offer some real value with a few up-and-comers just getting into form before the big dance.

2019 Florida Derby Odds

  • No. 1 Hidden Scroll (5-2)
  • No. 2 Current (15-1)
  • No. 3 Harvey Wallbanger (15-1)
  • No. 4 Bourbon War (7-2)
  • No. 5 Everfast (20-1)
  • No. 6 Hard Belle (50-1)
  • No. 7 Maximum Security (9-2)
  • No. 8 Bodexpress (30-1)
  • No. 9 Code of Honor (3-1)
  • No. 10 Union’s Destiny (30-1)
  • No. 11 Garter and Tie (15-1)

2019 Florida Derby Analysis

Let’s start with the favorite, No. 1 Hidden Scroll (5-2), as it’s not often a horse who was well-beaten in his last major prep race (Fountain of Youth Stakes) is made a favorite in a major stakes. His style is to get out in front and go as far as he can as fast as he can. However, his last time out that caught up with him and he faded to fourth and was beaten by three lengths.

It seems the handicappers believe he won’t be bothered by a hot pace in today’s race and if he’s able to relax on the lead and set a reasonable pace, he will triumph.

I love that theory in concept, but there will be a lot of pressure on the favorite in the Florida Derby.

A couple of horses that will be going for the early lead, even though they have no chance here, are No. 6 Hard Belle (50-1) and No. 10 Union’s Destiny (30-1). Those two along, with No. 7 Maximum Security (7-2), will put pressure on Hidden Scroll.

I think the winner of this race will likely come from well off the pace. The horses I’m keying in on are No. 9 Code of Honor (3-1), who won the Fountain of Youth from off the pace, and No. 4 Bourbon War (7-2), who was flying in the stretch at the Fountain of Youth and finished second by less than a length. I expect this race to run similarly.

The Florida Derby is 1/16th of a mile longer than the Fountain of Youth which should give Bourbon War a little extra time to run the field down. He is my top pick with Irad Ortiz Jr, the leading rider at Gulfstream Park, in the saddle. He is a master of timing and likely won’t come up short this time around.

My play here is to back No. 4 Bourbon War to win and if you’re playing exactas, be sure to include No. 3 Harvey Wallbanger (15-1), No. 7 Maximum Security (9-2), No. 9 Code of Honor (3-1) and No. 11 Garter and Tie (15-1).

Horse Players World Series Update

As for my luck in the Horse Players World Series event here in Las Vegas, let’s just say it’s not gone especially well for me.

On the first day I couldn’t win a one race, which left me well behind the leaders. That means I was forced to be aggressive on Day 2 to make up ground and that didn’t result in the returns I hoped for.

So as we enter Day 3 today, I’m gonna have to swing for the fences and just play live longshots. There are some good, wide-open races today at Gulfstream Park so I’ll have to take my shots there.

Follow me on Twitter at @adamstaple and I’ll update how my efforts are going.

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