The Xpressbet.com Florida Derby is one of the most important preps on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, and this year’s race is expected to attract a slew of Derby hopefuls looking for a spot in the gate on the first Saturday in May. Get a closer look at this Saturday’s big race at Gulfstream Park with the stats and figures below.
1- The number of times a Florida Derby runner has won the Preakness since 1997 (Big Brown in 2008). It happened 17 times between 1955 and 1996.
1 1/8 miles- Distance of the race.
1:46 4/5- The Florida Derby speed record, set by Gen. Duke in 1957.
2- The number of times the Florida Derby winner has been disqualified: Lil’s Lad in 1998 and Abe’s Hope in 1966.
$2.10- The smallest win payoff ever in the race, occurring when both Spectacular Bid (1979) and Honest Pleasure (1976) won.
3- Record number of wins by both a trainer and a jockey. Three trainers and six jockeys are tied with three Florida Derby wins apiece.
4- The number of times Florida Derby starters have swept all three Triple Crown races, though each time was with two different horses: 2008, 1991, 1966, and 1956.
5- The smallest field of horses to contest the Florida Derby, in both 1957 and 1969.
9 ¾ lengths- Empire Maker’s 2003 margin of victory, the largest ever in the race.
15- The number of times the Belmont Stakes has been won by a horse who ran in the Florida Derby.
18- The largest field size ever in the Florida Derby, in 1952.
23- Number of Kentucky Derby winners who ran in the Florida Derby, most recently Nyquist last year.
66th- This year is the 66th Florida Derby, which began in 1952.
170- The number of Kentucky Derby qualifying points offered to the Florida Derby runners. The winner gets 100 of them, with 40 for second place, 20 for third and 10 for fourth.
$183.60- The biggest win payout in Florida Derby history, occurring when Williamstown Kid won in 1966.
$1 million- The total purse of the Florida Derby, with $600,000 of that for the winner.
$32,082,270- Dollars bet on Gulfstream Park races on Florida Derby day last year.