Florida Derby

  • Location: Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, FL
  • Inaugural Race: 1952
  • Current Distance: 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs)
  • Track Type: Left-Handed Dirt
  • Age Qualifications: Three-year-olds
  • Status: Grade 1
  • 2018 Purse: $1,000,000
  • 2018 Race Date: Saturday, March 31st

2018 Florida Derby Entries and Results

8AudibleJohn R. VelazquezTodd A. Pletcher$5.20$4.00$3.00
7HofburgJose L. OrtizWilliam I. Mott$7.20$4.40
9Mississippi Julien R. LeparouxMark E. Casse$5.00
6Catholic BoyIrad Ortiz, Jr.Jonathan Thomas
2Millionaire RunnerJose A. BatistaJaime Mejia
3Tip SheetEdgard J. ZayasStanley I. Gold
5Storm RunnerTyler GaffalioneDale L. Romans
1Strike PowerLuis SaezMark A. Hennig
4Promises FulfilledRobby AlbaradoDale L. Romans

Exotic Payoffs:

  • $2 Exacta (8-7) $50.80
  • $2 Trifecta (8-7-9)  $309.40
  • $2 Superfecta (8-7-9-6) $926.00

Download the Official Florida Derby Tip Sheet from BetAmerica here!

Recent Florida Derby News

Watch the 2018 Florida Derby

Florida Derby History

First contested in 1952, the Florida Derby is a worthy prize, with $1 million and grade one status at stake. Originally staged in early or mid-March for most of its years – during which time its victors usually had another lead-up race to the Kentucky Derby – it was switched to five weeks before the Run for the Roses in 2005, meaning it’s now usually a final lead-up.

The race is one of the key prep races in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. The first four finishers earn points on a 100-40-20-10 basis. The winner will be guaranteed to have enough points to secure a Kentucky Derby start, and the 40 points for the runner-up has been enough to earn a start every year since the Road series began in 2013.

However, it’s not just points that makes the Florida Derby important. In its 66-year history, the Florida Derby field has contained the Kentucky Derby winner 24 times – more than any other prep race. Fifteen of those horses completed the Florida Derby – Kentucky Derby double, including the two most recent winners, Nyquist and Always Dreaming. A further five Florida Derby winners didn’t win at Churchill Downs but went on to win the Preakness Stakes or the Belmont Stakes.

Not surprisingly, the winner’s roll contains a number of all-time great North American horses, including Hall of Famers Nashua, Needles, Tim Tam, Carry Back, Northern Dancer, Alydar, Spectacular Bid, and Holy Bull.

The Fountain of Youth Stakes in early March is an important lead-up – 14 winners of that race have taken out the Florida Derby – but it’s just as likely to be won by horses that raced somewhere else at their previous start.

Florida Derby Trivia

How many winners of the Florida Derby have also won the Kentucky Derby?


Nyquist, Orb, Big Brown, Barbaro, Monarchos, Thunder Gulch, Unbridled, Swale, Spectacular Bid, Forward Pass, Northern Dancer, Carry Back, Tim Tam and Needles won both the Florida and Kentucky Derbies.

How many jockey have won the race three times?


Six jockeys have each won the race three times, but only John Velazquez has won four times.  

Which owner holds the record for most wins?


Calumet Farms has won the Florida Derby a record 5 times, in 1957, 1958, 1968, 1971 and 1978.

What is the record number of wins by a trainer?


Three trainers have each won the Florida Derby three times, but only Todd Pletcher has won four times.

Previous Winners of the Florida Derby

2017Always DreamingJohn R. VelazquezTodd Pletcher Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola Racing Stables
2016NyquistMario GutierrezDoug O'NeillReddam Racing
2015MaterialityJohn R. VelazquezTodd PletcherAlto Racing
2014ConstitutionJavier CastellanoTodd PletcherWinstar Farm
2013OrbJohn VelazquezClaude McGaughey IIIJanney/Phipps Stable
2012Take Charge IndyCalvin BorelPatrick B. ByrneC & M Sandford
2011Dialed InJulien R. LeparouxNick ZitoRobert V. LaPenta
2010Ice BoxJose LezcanoNick ZitoRobert V. LaPenta
2009Quality RoadJohn VelazquezJames A. JerkensEdward P. Evans
2008Big BrownKent DesormeauxRichard E. Dutrow Jr.IEAH Stables/Paul Pompa
2007Scat DaddyEdgar PradoTodd A. PletcherJ. Scatuorchio / M. Tabor
2006BarbaroEdgar PradoMichael MatzLael Stables
2005High FlyJerry BaileyNick ZitoLive Oak Plantation
2004Friends LakeRichard MiglioreJohn C. KimmelChester & Mary Broman
2003Empire MakerJerry BaileyRobert FrankelJuddmonte Farms
2002Harlan's HolidayEdgar PradoKenneth McPeekStarlight Stable
2001MonarchosJorge ChavezJohn T. Ward, Jr.John C. Oxley
2000Hal's HopeRoger VelezHarold RoseRose Family Stable
1999VicarShane SellersCarl NafzgerJames B. Tafel
1998Cape Town †Shane SellersD. Wayne LukasOverbrook Farm
1997Captain BodgitAlex SolisGary CapuanoTeam Valor
1996Unbridled's SongMike SmithJames T. RyersonParaneck Stable
1995Thunder GulchMike SmithD. Wayne LukasMichael Tabor
1994Holy BullMike SmithWarren A. Croll, Jr.Warren A. Croll, Jr.
1993Bull In the HeatherWigberto RamosHoward M. TesherArthur Klein
1992TechnologyJerry BaileyHubert HineScott Savin
1991Fly So FreeJose SantosScotty SchulhoferTommy Valando
1990UnbridledPat DayCarl NafzgerGenter Stable
1989Mercedes WonEarlie FiresArnold FinkChristopher Spencer
1988Brian's TimeRandy RomeroJohn M. VeitchJames W. Phillips
1987CryptoclearanceJose SantosScotty SchulhoferPhil Teinowitz
1986Snow ChiefAlex SolisMelvin F. StuteRochelle/Grinstead
1985Proud TruthJorge VelasquezJohn M. VeitchDarby Dan Farm
1984SwaleLaffit Pincay, Jr.Woody StephensClaiborne Farm
1983CroesoFrank OlivaresJerry M. FanningJoyce & Roy Fowler
1982Timely WriterJeffrey FellDominic ImpresciaPeter & Francis Martin
1981Lord AvieChris McCarronDaniel PerlsweigDavid Simon
1980Plugged NickleBuck ThornburgThomas J. KellyJohn M. Schiff
1979Spectacular BidRonnie FranklinBud DelpHawksworth Farm
1978AlydarJorge VelasquezJohn M. VeitchCalumet Farm
1977Ruthie's NativeCraig PerretEugene JacobsRuth A. Perlmutter
1977Coined SilverBuck ThornburgGeorge T. Poole IIIC. V. Whitney
1976Honest PleasureBraulio BaezaLeRoy JolleyBertram R. Firestone
1975Prince Thou ArtBraulio BaezaLou RondinelloDarby Dan Farm
1974JudgerLaffit Pincay, Jr.Woody StephensClaiborne Farm
1973Royal and RegalWalter BlumWarren A. Croll, Jr.Aisco Stable
1972Upper CaseRon TurcotteLucien LaurinMeadow Stable
1971Eastern FleetEddie MapleReggie CornellCalumet Farm
1970My Dad GeorgeRay BroussardFrank J. McManusRaymond M. Curtis
1969Top KnightManuel YcazaRay MetcalfSteven B. Wilson
1968Forward PassDon BrumfieldHenry ForrestCalumet Farm
1967In RealityEarlie FiresMelvin CalvertFrances A. Genter
1966Williamston Kid †Robert StevensonJames BartlettTernes & Bartlett
1965Native ChargerJohn L. RotzRay MetcalfWarner Stable
1964Northern DancerBill ShoemakerHoratio LuroWindfields Farm
1963Candy SpotsBill ShoemakerMesh TenneyRex C. Ellsworth
1962RidanManuel YcazaLeRoy JolleyJolley / Woods / Greer
1961Carry BackJohnny SellersJack A. PriceMrs. Katherine Price
1960Bally AcheBobby UsseryHomer PittEdgehill Farm
1959Easy SpurBill HartackPaul L. KelleySpring Hill Farm
1958Tim TamBill HartackHorace A. JonesCalumet Farm
1957Gen. DukeBill HartackHorace A. JonesCalumet Farm
1956NeedlesDavid ErbHugh L. FontaineD & H Stable
1955NashuaEddie ArcaroJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud
1954CorrelationBill ShoemakerNoble ThreewittRobert S. Lytle
1953Money BrokerAlfred PoparaVester R. WrightG. & G. Stable
1952Sky ShipRonnie NashPreston M. BurchBrookmeade Stable