New Shooters to Challenge Top Pair in Florida Derby

New Shooters to Challenge Top Pair in Florida Derby
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Will the Florida Derby produce another 1-2 finish between Booklet and Harlan's Holiday?
Although the Florida Derby still is a little over three weeks away, it appears as if at least seven 3-year-olds are pointing for the $1 million, grade I event at Gulfstream Park on March 16. Booklet and Harlan's Holiday, who finished one-two in the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth Stakes, are expected to renew their budding rivalry, with a few new faces ready to join the fray.

Also expected to run are Blue Burner, who finished a solid third in the Fountain of Youth; Stephentown, a big disappointment in the Fountain of Youth; High Star and Changeintheweather, who finished second and third, respectively, in an oddly run allowance race on Fountain of Youth day; and D'Coach, second in the Count Fleet and Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct, but disqualified to third in the latter.

Tony Reinstedler, trainer of Stephentown was perplexed by his colt's dismal showing, coming off such an impressive alowance score. Although he has not committed the son of Wild Again to the Florida Derby, he is considering giving him another chance. The only new arrival to Gulfstream is D'Coach, who will need a strong, contested pace. Owner John Perrotta said the son of Dehere is training great.

At first glance, it looks like a similar scenario could develop, in which Booklet is allowed to sprint to an uncontested lead. But trainer Kenny McPeek believes the extra sixteenth of a mile will help Harlan's Holiday turn the tables on the son of Notebook.

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