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Photo: The Blood-Horse Library
Gen. Duke after the Florida Derby
March 30, 1957
Gen. Duke in the Florida Derby

Calumet Farm homebred Gen. Duke took charge of the division with a victory in the March 30 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. He also evened the score with Bold Ruler.

Gen. Duke and Bold Ruler clashed three times at Hialeah before the Florida Derby. Bold Ruler won the Bahamas Stakes to start things off, then Gen. Duke took the Everglades Stakes by a head. Bold Ruler returned to supremacy by winning the $100,000 Flamingo Stakes by a neck in track-record time of 1:47 for 1 1/8 miles.

Bold Ruler went off the 3-5 favorite in the Florida Derby, but was no match for Gen. Duke, who won by 1 1/2 lengths while equaling the world record time of 1:46 4/5.

Gen. Duke was now the horse to beat in the Derby, but lost that ranking after a loss at Keeneland and one at Churchill. On the eve of the Derby, trainer Jimmy Jones withdrew him from the Run for the Roses because of a bad foot. Stablemate Iron Liege, who was third in the Flamingo and Florida Derby, won the Kentucky Derby. Bold Ruler won the Preakness, and Gallant Man the Belmont Stakes.

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