Kentucky Derby Contender Hidden Scroll Seeking Better Trip in Florida Prep Saturday

Posted on: March 30, 2019, 05:26h. 

Last updated on: March 30, 2019, 05:26h.

The road to the Kentucky Derby will be a road to redemption for Hidden Scroll on Saturday.

Hidden Scroll (right) hopes to recapture the magic of his first career start in February, where he won by 14 lengths at Gulfstream Park. He is the morning-line favorite in Gulfstream’s Florida Derby on Saturday. (Image: Gulfstream Park)

Four weeks ago, the colt went off as the 6-5 favorite in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. It was his stakes debut and just his second race. He got out to the lead, holding it to the stretch. However, he eventually faded to fourth place as Code of Honor held off a hard-charging Bourbon War to win the 1-1/16-mile race.

Those three return to Gulfstream for the Florida Derby, a 1-1/8-mile race. The winner will get 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, with the runner-up earning 40 points.

Hidden Scroll drew the inside post and became the 5-2 morning-line favorite. His trainer, Bill Mott, made some changes, including a new jockey as Javier Castellano replaces Joel Rosario.

Mott said he didn’t like how his horse was handled, racing out to the lead against Gladiator King, a horse who burned out and finished last.

I would probably have preferred to have him behind the other speed horse that was in the race, but [setting a pressured pace] was the way it turned out,” Mott said. “We’re going to play the hand that’s dealt out. We hope in the next race, whatever the pace scenario may be, he’s in a spot that gives him the best chance.“

Fountain of Youth Winner Second Choice

Code of Honor, who earned 50 qualifying points in the Fountain of Youth, already has enough points for a spot in the May 4 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Shug McGaughey’s colt drew the ninth gate and got morning-line odds of 3-1.

Like Mott, McGaughey believes the pace and how his horse handles it will be the key to the race.

“I don’t want him up too close,” McGaughey told reporters. “I don’t think that’s his way. A lot of that will be up to Johnny as the race unfolds out of the gate. I hope we get a little pace, which I think we probably will. Going a mile and an eighth, he’s just going to have to be patient with him as he was the other day.”

Bourbon War drew the fourth post and is the third selection at 7-2. The Mark Henning-trained colt made a great move late in the Fountain of Youth and appeared to have more than enough left in the tank to handle the extra distance in the Florida Derby.

The three horses are among the top Kentucky Derby contenders. At William Hill this week, Hidden Scroll’s futures odds were 10-1. Code of Honor was 14-1, while Bourbon War fetched 20-1.

Rainbow 6 Guaranteed Payout Saturday

Saturday marks the end of Gulfstream’s meet, and the Rainbow 6 jackpot will have to go out. The current jackpot stands at more than $2.6 million

Unlike traditional pick six bets, the total jackpot only goes out when only one 20-cent ticket has all six winners. If multiple tickets have the most winners, then they share a portion of that day’s pool with the rest going into the jackpot.

If there is no unique winning ticket on the final racing day, then all winners will share the jackpot. Track officials expect the pool to exceed $10 million.

The six races start with the ninth race and include the Pan American Stakes and the Florida Derby.