The Florida Derby 2022

Did you ever come up with a horse in a race because you just did not like anyone else? That is exactly what happened to me in the Florida Derby this year. I went through the field, the pace set up, the replays, and who I thought could go forward and also who would likely regress and nobody checked all the boxes. I am landing on a horse by default. If he wins it won’t matter how I got here. To think of it if he loses it won’t matter much either.

Strike Hard is honest enough, has the rail, can run late, but looks a little slow for my liking.

Classic Causeway is the one to beat and has a nice Tampa foundation. I like that. He has speed and should like Gulfstream. All that said, I do not trust him. He can win, and the price won’t be terrible albeit on the shorter side, but I will look to take him down for the first time this year.

Simplification is the one to beat. He was left at the gate in the Holy Bull and then showed a new dimension winning the Fountain of Youth from off the pace. He loves Gulfstream and deserves to be the favorite.

King of Truth would be a surprise. A big surprise for me. Too slow and too cheap for me to get here.

Pappacap is one I have always felt was overrated. So far, he has not proven me wrong. I don’t think he will on Saturday either. He can get a piece as he has run races good enough in the past to contend, but he does not have that winning look I like or does he seem to be sitting on a forward move.

Charge It is where I land by default. It is Pletcher and we know he dominates this race. I loved both his races thus far. He even made Tracking Trips with the gutsy inside pressure filled debut. He will have to be able to sit or outrun more experienced speed, but he looks like he can potentially be a good one so I will give the benefit of the doubt to him.

White Abarrio enjoyed a perfect trip and set up last out. Will he get that again? I doubt it and he also was sick for a bit so might not be at his best. He will also be a short price.

Cajun”s magic appears to be a cut below a few of these.

O Captain is an intriguing long-shot. He ran good enough at a huge price in the Fountain of Youth. He picks up Joel Rosario who should fit him well. He goes second off the lay-off for the first time in his brief career and I will not be shocked if he were to upset this field. I will be using for sure.

Clapton is another who looks to be a cut below most of these. He is a pass for me.

Steal Sunshine is improving but has a tough draw to move forward enough to contend here for me. I habe to pass.

Charge It with O Captain as a little insurance for me. Enjoy the races !

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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