Florida Derby

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Florida Derby
Grade I race
LocationGulfstream Park
Hallandale Beach, Florida, USA
Race typeThoroughbredFlat racing
Race information
Distance1 18 miles (9 furlongs)
Weight122 lbs (55.3 kg)
Purse$1 million (since 2011)[1]

The Florida Derby is an American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses held annually at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Since 2005, it has been run five weeks before the Kentucky Derby, which is held on the first Saturday in May. Thus the Florida Derby is currently run either at the end of March or the beginning of April. Added to the racing schedule in 1952, the Grade I race is run at ​1 18 miles on the dirt for a purse currently set at $1 Million.


The Florida Derby was first run in 1952. It has long been a prestigious prep race for the Kentucky Derby and since 2013 has been part of the official Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The race was originally run in early to mid-March and Kentucky Derby hopefuls would then run in another major prep race in April. In 2005, Gulfstream Park shifted its scheduling to run the race five weeks before the Kentucky Derby. This was originally believed to be a liability, as the preferred spacing of races is typically three to four weeks.[2] When Barbaro won the 2006 Kentucky Derby,[3] the five-week spacing began to be viewed as a potentially positive feature, allowing a horse to come into the Kentucky Derby well rested.[4]

In 1977, a large field resulted in the race being run in two divisions.

Between 1926 and 1937, the Flamingo Stakes was known as the Florida Derby.

Triple Crown Classic Winners[edit]

In total, 20 winners of the Florida Derby have gone on to win one or more Triple Crown Classics (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes).

Kentucky Derby Winners: Needles (1956), Tim Tam (1958), Carry Back (1961), Northern Dancer (1964), *Forward Pass (1968), Spectacular Bid (1979), Swale (1984), Unbridled (1990), Thunder Gulch (1995), Monarchos (2001), Barbaro (2006), Big Brown (2008), Orb (2013), Nyquist (2016), and Always Dreaming (2017).

Preakness Stakes Winners: Nashua (1955), Tim Tam (1958), Bally Ache (1960), Carry Back (1961), Candy Spots (1963),Northern Dancer(1964), Forward Pass (1968), Spectacular Bid (1979), Snow Chief (1986), and Big Brown (2008).

Belmont Stakes Winners: Nashua (1955), Needles (1956), Swale (1984), Thunder Gulch (1995), Empire Maker (2003), and Tiz the Law (2020).

  • In 1968, Dancer's Image won the Kentucky Derby, but was disqualified and moved to last place after traces of phenylbutazone (a drug that was illegal at the time) was found in a post-race urine analysis. Forward Pass, the Derby runner-up, was awarded the honor of first placing.
  • In 2019, Maximum Security won the Kentucky Derby, but was disqualified and moved to 17th place. This was the first disqualification due to a racing infraction in Kentucky Derby history.


Speed Record:

  • 1:46.80 – Gen. Duke (1957), equaled the world record for ​1 18 miles at the time.

Most wins by an owner:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Largest margin of victory:

  • 9 34 lengths – Empire Maker (2003)[5]

Shortest priced winners:

  • $2.10 (1/20 on) – Honest Pleasure (1976), Spectacular Bid (1979)[5]

Longest priced winner:

  • $183.60 (~91/1) – Williamstown Kid (1966)[5]


2020 Tiz the Law Manny Franco Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable 1:50.00 $750,000 I
2019 Maximum Security Luis Saez Jason Servis Mary & Gary West 1:48.86 $1,000,000 I
2018 Audible John R. Velazquez Todd Pletcher China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners LLC,
Starlight Racing, WinStar Farm
1:49.48 $1,000,000 I
2017 Always Dreaming John R. Velazquez Todd Pletcher Brooklyn Boyz/Te.Viola Racing 1:47.47 $1,000,000 I
2016 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill Reddam Racing 1:49.11 $1,000,000 I
2015 Materiality John R. Velazquez Todd Pletcher Alto Racing 1:52.30 $1,000,000 I
2014 Constitution Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher Winstar Farm 1:49.17 $1,000,000 I
2013 Orb John Velazquez C. R. McGaughey III Stuart S. Janney III & Phipps Stable 1:50.87 $1,000,000 I
2012 Take Charge Indy Calvin Borel Patrick B. Byrne Chuck & Maribeth Sandford 1:48.79 $1,000,000 I
2011 Dialed In Julien Leparoux Nick Zito Robert V. LaPenta 1:50.74 $1,000,000 I
2010 Ice Box Jose Lezcano Nick Zito Robert V. LaPenta 1:49.19 $750,000 I
2009 Quality Road John Velazquez James A. Jerkens Edward P. Evans 1:47.72 $750,000 I
2008 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Richard E. Dutrow Jr. IEAH Stables & Paul Pompa Jr. 1:48.16 $1,000,000 I
2007 Scat Daddy Edgar Prado Todd A. Pletcher James Scatuorchio & Michael Tabor 1:49.00 $1,000,000 I
2006 Barbaro Edgar Prado Michael Matz Lael Stables 1:49.01 $1,000,000 I
2005 High Fly Jerry Bailey Nick Zito Live Oak Plantation 1:49.43 $1,000,000 I
2004 Friends Lake Richard Migliore John C. Kimmel Chester & Mary Broman 1:51.38 $1,000,000 I
2003 Empire Maker Jerry Bailey Robert Frankel Juddmonte Farms 1:49.05 $1,000,000 I
2002 Harlan's Holiday Edgar Prado Kenneth McPeek Starlight Stable (Jack & Laurie Wolf) 1:48.80 $1,000,000 I
2001 Monarchos Jorge Chavez John T. Ward Jr. John C. Oxley 1:49.95 $1,000,000 I
2000 Hal's Hope Roger Velez Harold J. Rose Rose Family Stable 1:51.49 $1,000,000 I
1999 Vicar Shane Sellers Carl Nafzger James B. Tafel 1:50.83 $750,000 I
1998 Cape Town † Shane Sellers D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm 1:49.21 $750,000 I
1997 Captain Bodgit Alex Solis Gary Capuano Team Valor 1:50.60 $750,000 I
1996 Unbridled's Song Mike Smith James T. Ryerson Paraneck Stable 1:47.85 $750,000 I
1995 Thunder Gulch Mike Smith D. Wayne Lukas Michael Tabor 1:49.70 $500,000 I
1994 Holy Bull Mike Smith Warren A. Croll Jr. Warren A. Croll Jr. 1:47.66 $500,000 I
1993 Bull Inthe Heather Wigberto Ramos Howard M. Tesher Arthur Klein 1:51.38 $500,000 I
1992 Technology Jerry Bailey Hubert Hine Scott C. Savin 1:50.72 $500,000 I
1991 Fly So Free José A. Santos Scotty Schulhofer Tommy Valando 1:50.44 $500,000 I
1990 Unbridled Pat Day Carl Nafzger Genter Stable 1:52.00 $500,000 I
1989 Mercedes Won Earlie Fires Arnold Fink Christopher Spencer 1:49.60 $500,000 I
1988 Brian's Time Randy Romero John M. Veitch James W. Phillips 1:49.80 $500,000 I
1987 Cryptoclearance José A. Santos Scotty Schulhofer Phil Teinowitz 1:49.60 $500,000 I
1986 Snow Chief Alex Solis Melvin F. Stute Carl Grinstead & Ben Rochelle 1:51.80 $500,000 I
1985 Proud Truth Jorge Velásquez John M. Veitch Darby Dan Farm 1:50.00 $500,000 I
1984 Swale Laffit Pincay Jr. Woody Stephens Claiborne Farm 1:47.60 $300,000 I
1983 Croeso Frank Olivares Stephen A. DiMauro Cardiff Stud Farm & Jerry & Roy Fowler 1:49.80 $300,000 I
1982 Timely Writer Jeffrey Fell Dominic Imprescia Peter & Francis Martin 1:49.60 $250,000 I
1981 Lord Avie Chris McCarron Daniel Perlsweig David Simon 1:50.40 $250,000 I
1980 Plugged Nickle Buck Thornburg Thomas J. Kelly John M. Schiff 1:50.20 $250,000 I
1979 Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm (Harry & Teresa Meyerhoff) 1:48.80 $200,000 I
1978 Alydar Jorge Velásquez John M. Veitch Calumet Farm 1:47.00 $200,000 I
1977‡ Ruthie's Native Craig Perret Eugene Jacobs Ruth A. Perlmutter 1:50.20 $125,000 I
Coined Silver Buck Thornburg George T. Poole III C. V. Whitney 1:48.80 $125,000 I
1976 Honest Pleasure Braulio Baeza LeRoy Jolley Bertram R. Firestone 1:47.80 $125,000 I
1975 Prince Thou Art Braulio Baeza Lou Rondinello Darby Dan Farm 1:50.40 $150,000 I
1974 Judger Laffit Pincay Jr. Woody Stephens Claiborne Farm 1:49.00 $150,000 I
1973 Royal and Regal Walter Blum Warren A. Croll Jr. Aisco Stable 1:47.40 $130,000 I
1972 Upper Case Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1:50.00 $130,000
1971 Eastern Fleet Eddie Maple Reggie Cornell Calumet Farm 1:47.40 $125,000
1970 My Dad George Ray Broussard Frank J. McManus Raymond M. Curtis 1:50.80 $125,000
1969 Top Knight Manuel Ycaza Raymond F. Metcalf Steven B. Wilson 1:48.40
1968 Forward Pass Don Brumfield Henry Forrest Calumet Farm 1:49.00
1967 In Reality Earlie Fires Melvin Calvert Frances A. Genter 1:50.20
1966 Williamston Kid † Robert Stevenson James Bartlett Paul F. Ternes & James Bartlett 1:50.60
1965 Native Charger John L. Rotz Raymond F. Metcalf Warner Stable 1:51.20
1964 Northern Dancer Bill Shoemaker Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 1:50.80
1963 Candy Spots Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 1:50.60
1962 Ridan Manuel Ycaza LeRoy Jolley Mrs. Moody Jolley, Ernest Woods, John L. Greer 1:50.40
1961 Carry Back Johnny Sellers Jack A. Price Katherine Price 1:48.80
1960 Bally Ache Bobby Ussery Homer Pitt Edgehill Farm (Leonard D. & Morris Fruchtman) 1:47.60
1959 Easy Spur Bill Hartack Paul L. Kelley Spring Hill Farm 1:47.20
1958 Tim Tam Bill Hartack Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:49.20
1957 Gen. Duke Bill Hartack Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:46.80
1956 Needles David Erb Hugh L. Fontaine D & H Stable (Jack Dudley & Bonnie Heath) 1:48.60
1955 Nashua Eddie Arcaro Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1:53.20
1954 Correlation Bill Shoemaker Noble Threewitt Robert S. Lytle 1:55.20
1953 Money Broker Alfred Popara Vester R. Wright G. & G. Stable (T. Alie Grissom & Edward Grosfield) 1:53.80
1952 Sky Ship Ronnie Nash Preston M. Burch Brookmeade Stable 1:50.80
  • †1966 – Abe's First finished 1st but was disqualified to 4th
  • ‡1977 – Run in Divisions
  • †1998 – Lil's Lad finished 1st but was disqualified to 2nd
  • Winners in bold won a Triple Crown Race

Special Bonus[edit]

Paths to $5,500,000 Preakness Bonus:

  1. win Holy Bull Stakes + win the Florida Derby + win The Preakness Stakes
  2. win Fountain of Youth Stakes + win the Florida Derby + win The Preakness Stakes

Paths to $550,000 XpressBet Consolation Bonus:

  1. + win, place or show Holy Bull Stakes + win, place or show in the Florida Derby or win, place or show in the Santa Anita Derby + win The Preakness Stakes
  2. + win, place or show Fountain of Youth Stakes + win, place or show in the Florida Derby or win, place or show in the Santa Anita Derby + win The Preakness Stakes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Florida Derby Profile". Equibase. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Florida Derby stars bucking history". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Scat Daddy Wins in Florida; Next Stop Is Kentucky Derby". The New York Times. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  4. ^ Hoppert, Melissa (1 April 2016). "A Showdown Between Mohaymen and Nyquist Before the Kentucky Derby". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Moore, Christina (27 March 2017). "Florida Derby by the Numbers". TJ Media Ventures. Retrieved 30 March 2017.

External links[edit]