Union Rags and El Padrino face off in the Florida Derby [Horse racing]

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Take Charge Indy has not raced since the aforementioned optional claimer. His trainer, Patrick Byrne, chose to skip the Tampa Bay Derby (March 10) because of a poor post position and wait for the Florida Derby. The downside to that is that this colt, who looked just as promising in February as El Padrino, will be making his first start after a two-month layoff in a very difficult race and will have only one real Derby prep. Unless he finishes in the money Saturday that won’t really matter because he won’t have the graded earnings to even make the Derby field.

Another tough competitor to watch for in Saturday’s race is Dale Romans’ News Pending. He finished four lengths behind Union Rags in the Fountain of Youth, but he looks like a colt on the improve. It’s hard to say that he’ll be able to beat Union Rags or El Padrino on Saturday, but he’s definitely one to keep in your exotics.

The remainder of the field includes Fort Louden, Neck ‘N Neck, Z Camelot, Bartolome, and Reveron. The race is the 11th on Gulfstream Park’s star-studded 13-race card. The scheduled post-time is 5:40 p.m. The race can be seen as part of “The Road to the Derby” series on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus). The one-hour broadcast begins at 5:00 p.m. and will include the Gulfstream Oaks for three-year-old fillies. 

Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby