Inside the Numbers: Florida Derby


Gulfstream Park hosts Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby. (Photos by Eclipse Sportswire)

South Florida’s premier Kentucky Derby prep is this weekend, and a contentious group of 3-year-olds looks to secure their spot in the Churchill Downs starting gate. Gulfstream Park’s Florida Derby offers a $1 million purse and 170 Kentucky Derby points. Read on to find out some more key Florida Derby numbers.

1 1/8 Miles – The distance of the Florida Derby since its inception in 1952

1:46 4/5 – The fastest recorded time in the Florida Derby, set back in 1957 by Gen. Duke

2 – Twice has a horse been disqualified from a first-place finish in the Florida Derby (the two to be disqualified: ironically, Abe’s First in 1966 and Lil’s Lad in 1998)

$2.10 – Smallest payoff on a $2 win ticket in the Florida Derby (Honest Pleasure in 1976 and Spectacular Bid in 1979)

3 – Number of Florida Derby wins for trainers John Veitch and Nick Zito, which is the most of any trainer

4 – Number of times the Florida Derby has been contested over an off-track (an off-track is a track with moisture in it after precipitation)

5 – Number of Florida Derby wins for owner Calumet Farm, which is the most all-time

8 – Eight Florida Derby winners (Nashua, Needles, Tim Tam, Carry Back, Northern Dancer, Alydar, Spectacular Bid, and Holy Bull) are now enshrined in the Thoroughbred racing Hall of Fame

9 ¾  – Number of lengths by which Empire Maker won the 2003 Florida Derby, making it the biggest winning margin in the race’s history

13 – Number of Florida Derby winners who went on to win the Kentucky Derby (this feat was accomplished most recently by Orb in 2013)


15 – Fifteen Florida Derby winners were born in the Sunshine State, most recently Hal’s Hope in 2000

18 – The number of horses that contested the inaugural Florida Derby in 1952, making it the largest field in the race’s history (the 1977 edition of the Florida Derby also featured 18 horses, but the race was split into two divisions)

20 – The Florida Derby has been won by a margin of a neck, head, or nose on 20 occasions (Constitution won the 2014 Florida Derby by the margin of a neck)

26 – Number of Hall of Fame jockeys who won the Florida Derby at least once in their career. This number could potentially swell to 27 this year if Hall of Fame nominee Craig Perret is inducted in 2015

27 – Number of times the post-time favorite has won the Florida Derby (most recently Big Brown, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby, in 2008)

122 – The weight all starters in the 2015 Florida Derby will carry

$183.60 – Largest payoff on a $2 win ticket in the Florida Derby, which came on 90-1 longshot Williamston Kid in 1966

$24,750 – The purse for the inaugural Florida Derby in 1952

$1,000,000 – Current purse for the Florida Derby, making it one of the richest Kentucky Derby prep races

$26,800,000 – Amount of money bet on all of the races at Gulfstream Park on Florida Derby day in 2014

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