(from Gulfstream Park stable notes)
Jose Lezcano took a test drive on Bea Oxenberg’s 3-year-old Hey Byrn, expected to be one of the favorites in the Florida Derby (gr. I), during a five-furlong work at Calder Race Course the morning of March 22.
Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. is looking for a replacement for jockey Edgar Prado, who has commitments in Dubai on March 29, also Florida Derby day, and will be unavailable. Prado has been aboard for Hey Byrn's two allowance victories at the meet.
In his final major tune-up for the race, Hey Byrn, with Lezcano in the irons, worked in 1:01 4/5 at Calder, fifth fastest of 27 timed at the distance.
“He did just what I was looking for and Jose got a feel for him,” said Plesa.
In addition to Hey Byrn, the probable field for the 57th edition of the Florida Derby includes IEAH Stable and partners’ Big Brown (Kent Desormeaux), Robert S. Evans’ Elysium Fields (Eibar Coa), Mount Joy Stable’s Smooth Air (Manoel Cruz), Padua Stable’s Face the Cat (John Velazquez), Minor Stable’s Fierce Wind (Cornelio Velasquez), Garland Williamson’s Cool Gator, Hardacre Farm’s B B Frank and Jet Set Racing’s Tomcito.
Kinsman Stable’s Majestic Warrior and Alien Farm and Alan Furst’s Nistle’s Crunch are listed as possible starters.