Not scared of Union Rags? Florida Derby gets 9// Dullahan back on schedule// Creative Cause works// Sabercat will try again

Proximity and convenience must have trumped competition for the connections of most contenders in Saturday’s Florida Derby (G1).  The field was expected to number seven, but swelled to nine when entries closed Wednesday.  That’s one more than last Sunday’s Sunland Derby (G3), which featured only two Grade 3 winners. The Florida Derby on the other hand features Grade 1 winner and early Kentucky Derby favorite Union Rags as well as Grade 2 winner El Padrino, who is considered a top 5 prospect in most rankings.  Those two will undoubtedly take the lion’s share of wagering seeing as the other seven possess no graded victories and inferior résumés. Full entries, PPs, and preview articles can be found below// Speaking of Union Rags, he’s favored in the final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool at 3-1 followed by ‘all others’ and Hansen at 6-1.  There are six new wagering interests including recent Derby trail winners and filly On Fire Baby//  On Fire Baby’s next race remains undecided, but trainer Gary Hartlage could enter her in both the Fantasy Stakes (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) before deciding which is the better fit.  It still seems as if the First Saturday in May is the long-term goal// There were rumors earlier in the week that something was amiss with Dullahan.  Wednesday the Daily Racing Form reported the colt did pop a splint, but is recovered and still on target for the Blue Grass (G1)// Tom Amoss will put blinkers on Shared Property for the Louisiana Derby (G1) due to the speed bias at the Fair Grounds// Lucky Chappy was chippy during training in Dubai for the UAE Derby (G2) when he threw his exercise rider.  Both parties seem to be ok// Creative Cause worked 6-furlongs at Hollywood Park in preparation for the Santa Anita Derby (G1)// more…

Florida Derby
Preview Articles: Gulfstream Park / Bloodhorse / DRF / Brisnet / TTimes

Matz tried to buy El Padrino (The Downey Profile)
Wednesday’s UAE Derby notes (The Downey Profile)
3-year-olds to watch 3/28 (In The Money Blog)

Top 20 (DRF)

Brother Francis SA- 5F- 59:00- H- 3/50
Creative Cause HOL- 6F- 1.12:80- H- 2/6

Notes and bits from web and Twitter:
“Arm Force out of La. Derby. Trainer Harty looking for better spot. That leaves 13 & removes a potential pace player”- DRFHersch via Twitter

“Teeth Of The Dog likely headed to Illinois Derby next. Wood & KEE preps alternatives”- DerbyContenders via Twitter

“Alpha will work Friday at Palm Meadows, ship to NY that afternoon, runs in Wood. Dominguez rides -- unless Hansen shows up”- Jav Privman via Twitter