Gunnevera Heads Florida Derby Probables; Practical Joke Still On The Fence

Next Saturday's Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream is expected have a field of at least seven runners, and the Chad Brown-trained Practical Joke is under heavy consideration for the race, according to drf.com. Those confirmed for the $1 million contest, which offers 100 points toward the Kentucky Derby to the winner, are led by Fountain of Youth winner Gunnevera for trainer Antonio Sano.

Other sophomores whose connections plan on entering the Florida Derby include: multiple stakes winner and Fountain of Youth runner-up Three Rules (Jose Pinchin); impressive two-turn allowance winner Always Dreaming (Todd Pletcher); Tampa Bay Derby runner-up State of Honor, who will race without blinkers for the first time (Mark Casse); Fountain of Youth fourth-place finisher Talk Logistics (Eddie Plesa, Jr.); Swale fourth-place finisher Impressive Edge (Dale Romans); and maiden winner Unbridled Holiday (Patrick Biancone).

Post positions will be drawn at 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday, by which point Chad Brown will have to have finalized his decision regarding dual Grade 1 winner Practical Joke.

“What it comes down to is how he comes out of this work and whether I think he needs another week or not,” said Brown. “If I think he's ready, we'll probably run here. If I think he needs another week, we'll wait for the Blue Grass.”

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