Florida Derby Betting Guide

The Grade 1 Florida Derby is one of the top races on the Kentucky Derby trail. Taking place at Gulfstream Park, the 2021 edition runs on March 27 and offers Derby qualifying points on a 100-40-20-5 scale to the top four finishers.

Open to three-year-olds, it covers a distance of 1 1/8 miles on dirt and offers a purse of $1 million. 

Florida Derby Predictions

The 2021 Florida Derby is highlighted by Greatest Honour, who will be looking to take one more step towards a starting position in the 2021 Kentucky Derby. The Tapit colt will likely be the heavy favorite going into the race, and he currently sits on the #3 spot on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. 

Trained by Sug McGaughey, Greatest Honour has three victories. Back in late December, he won a maiden race before going on to score the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2). 

Some of the other top contenders for this year’s Florida Derby include Spielberg, the most experienced runner among the field. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, the Union Rags colt has participated in six graded stakes races already. 

The runner won one of those six races, which was last year’s Los Alamitos Futurity (G2). Still, he is coming into the Florida Derby following an impressive runner-up effort behind the undefeated Essential Quality in February's Southwest Stakes (G3). 

Two of the more inexperienced runners that deserve attention despite coming in as longshots are Collaborate and Soup and Sandwich. 

Collaborate is an Into Mischief colt who took a maiden victory three weeks back before going on to dominate the field in a one-mile event over the Gulfstream track. He finished over 12 lengths ahead in the race.

Soup and Sandwich is trained by another Hall of Famer in Mark Casse, and he is two-for-two. The colt won his maiden race against Florida-breds on January 28 at Gulfstream and beat allowance company on February 24 at Tampa Bay Downs.

Some of the other top names set for the 2021 Florida Derby include Nova Rags and Known Agenda. 

Nova Rags finished second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3), and Known Agenda is the only runner among the field to have beaten Greatest Honour. Based on this, he likely has the best chance at upsetting the favorite.

Since beating Greatest Honour when both were maidens at Aqueduct last November, the Todd Pletcher-trained Known Agenda ran three more times. Most recently, he won by 11 lengths at nine furlongs at Gulfstream Park last month. 

Florida Derby History

The Florida Derby first kicked off in 1952, and since then, it has become one of the most prestigious prep races for the Kentucky Derby. It made it onto the official Road to the Kentucky Derby trail in 2013. 

There have been a total of 20 Florida Derby victors who went on to win one or more Triple Crown races. 

Let’s take a look at which winners went on to also take the Kentucky Derby just five weeks later:

  • Needles (1965)

  • 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)

  • Always Dreaming (2017).

The most recent winners of the Florida Derby include: 

  • Tiz the Law (2020) 

  • Maximum Security (2019)

  • Audible (2018)

  • Always Dreaming (2017)

  • Nyquist (2016). 

How to Bet on the Florida Derby

The first thing you want to do before betting on the Florida Derby is to choose an online betting platform. Some of the top platforms include TVG, TwinSpires, and Bet America

TwinSpires is the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby, and all three platforms offer live streaming, expert analysis, and all of the most popular wagers.

Because the Florida Derby is the most prominent race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, there is a lot of available information on the entrants. Make sure to pay attention to the race form and study the top horses, trainers, and jockeys. 

The racing program is your most crucial betting tool when it comes to any race, especially the Florida Derby. You will find the morning-line odds, past performances, post positions, jockeys, trainers, equipment changes, and much more for every runner.

If you want to shoot for higher earning potential with your bets, races like the Florida Derby are a good choice. Because it is so competitive with many of this year’s top racehorses, there is always a solid chance for an upset. All of this means you should strategize your bets and look outside of the obvious favorites. 

The Florida Derby race day takes place just five weeks before the Kentucky Derby, so those underdog entrants are running out of opportunities to close the gap on the Derby leaderboard. This is another reason why it is essential to look at all of the entrants and not just the favorite.