Stakes Profile: Florida Derby
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
The Florida Derby is 9 furlong race for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park. First run in 1952, it’s currently a Kentucky Derby points race. The Florida Derby has been one the most significant of Kentucky Derby preps in the last 50 years, but what kind of betting race is it?
Below is a snapshot of what has produced Florida Derby winners since 1991 including odds, bettors’ choice, field size, running styles, prior race location, prior race finish position, number of days since the last race as well as Brisnet Speed Figures.
The charts and graphs are interactive. Hover over or touch bars and lines for more information.
Florida Derby Winners Odds & Payouts 1991-2018
Odds are shown as listed in the charts. Hover-over or touch each bar for $2 payout.
Winners Bull Inthe Heather (1993 – $29.40 odds) and Friends Lake (2004 – $37.40 odds) have been excluded from the graph as outliers to allow for better overall visualization, but are included in the averages and medians.
Average $1 Odds: $5.70
Median $1 Odds: $2.10
Average $1 Odds: $4.90
Median $1 Odds: $2.90
Average $2 Win: $14.20
Median $2 Win: $6.90
Average $2 Win: $11.90
Median $2 Win: $7.80
Florida Derby Winners Bettors’ Choice and Field Size 1991-2018
Bettors’ Choice is the ranked order of the field by final odds: The favorite is the first choice, the second favorite is the second choice and so on. For example, 1991 winner Fly So Free was 1st choice in a 8 horse field. Hover-over or touch the bars for more information
Average Choice of Winner: 2.64
Average Field Size: 10.32
Average Favorite Finish Position: 2.46
Average Choice of Winner: 2.89
Average Field Size: 10.22
Average Favorite Finish Position: 3
Winning Florida Derby Running Styles 1991-2018
To read the charts below, 0 on the vertical axis is the lead, any distance behind the leader is below 0 and any distance above 0 is the amount the leader is ahead of the next horse. At the bottom are the points of call as they correspond to the charts. Each line is a horse, and you can hover over the point of call for each line to see more information about the horse.
For example, if you hover over the bottom-most line in the first chart at the 1/2 mile mark you’ll see that in the 2011 winner Dialed In was 11 lengths behind the leader at this point in the race.
Stalkers/pressers, or on-the-pace runners, have won the Florida Derby most often since 1991 while deep closers (28.8%) have had a slight advantage over speed (25%). In the last 10 years speed, stalker/pressers and deep closers have each won 30% of the time.
Position at the 1/2 mile mark…
Speed: In the lead
Presser/Stalker: Between .1 and 3 lengths off leader
Off the pace: Between 3 and 6 lengths off the leader
Deep closer: More than 6 lengths off the leader
Below is a closer look at winning running styles by decade.
Florida Derby Winners Last Track Raced & Days Since 1991-2018
All but two winners since 1991 have come from Gulfstream Park and winners have started within the last 30 days on average.
Average Days Since Last Race: 31.07
Median Days Since Last Race: 28
Winners Placing in Prior Race 1991-2017
All but two winners since 1991 finished no worse than third in their prior start and 60.7% won their prior start.
Florida Derby Brisnet Ratings 1991-2018
The chart below represents the last three Brisnet Speed Ratings earned by the Florida Derby winner, and includes the winning figure for the Florida Derby. In instances where a starter did not have three consecutive Brisnet Speed Ratings leading into the Florida Derby, the line starts with most recent.
Winning Brisnet Speed: 104
Brisnet Speed Prior Race: 100
Brisnet Speed 2 Back: 97
Brisnet Speed 3 Back: 95
The last ten years have been close to on trend with 70% of the winners coming in on an improved Brisnet Speed Rating and 30% coming in a regressed Brisnet Speed Rating. Winners coming in on a two race Brisnet Speed Rating improvement trended higher at 40%.
The Florida Derby has generally been a good betting race. The average winning odds since 1991 are 5.7-1 with a median of 2.1-1 and an average $14.20 payout for a $2 win ticket. Since 2010 those averages dipped slightly to 4.9-1 odds and $11.90 to win. Medians slightly increased to 2.9-1 odds and $7.80 to win.
Favorites have underperformed the generally accepted average of 35% win rate, winning only 28.6% of the time since 1991. On average the favorite has finished 2nd (2.46) since 1991 but since 2010 has dropped to an average 3rd place finish (3). The winner on average has been the 2nd choice.
Stalkers/Pressers, or those horses who sit within 3-lengths of the winner, have had the most success, winning 39.4% percent of the time. Deep closers have had a slight edge on early speed since 1991, but in the last 10 years speed, stalkers/pressers and deep closers have each won 30% of the time.
On average winners had raced within approximately 30 days prior to the Florida Derby and Gulfstream Park has produced all but two winners winners since 1991. Field size has been above the 2017 average of 7.7 with an average of 10.32 starters since 1991 and an average of 10.22 starters since 2010.
67.9% of winners came in on an improved Brisnet Speed Rating since 1991. In the last 10 years 40% of winners came in on two consecutive improved Brisnet Speed Ratings.