A field of seven or eight is taking shape for the March 15 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, as four new names were added to the list when late nominations for the 1 1/8-mile race closed Wednesday. Already confirmed to the race from the four late nominees is Senor Swinger. Region of Merit was nominated by trainer Christophe Clement as insurance, although he will likely head to the Tampa Bay Derby. The other two 3-year-olds on the late nomination list are Formal Attire and Tarkovsky.The Phil Serpe-trained Formal Attire broke his maiden Feb. 8 at Gulfstreamand last out was second behind Eugene's Third Son after encountering traffic trouble on the first turn of a 1 1/8-mile allowance race.
Tarkovsky, trained by Patrick Biancone, is a maiden after two starts. He raced at Gulfstream Feb. 15, running third in a 1 1/16-mile maiden event. Biancone sent Whywhywhy to Florida in February with an on running the colt in the Florida Derby, but he is now pointed to the seven furlong Swale Stakes.Others expected to make the starting gate for the Florida Derby include: Empire Maker, Indy Dancer, Lion Tamer, Midway Cat, Senor Swinger, Supah Blitz, and Trust N Luck.