Valedictorian, Bigger Picture present prime wagering prospects on Florida Derby undercard

Gulfstream Park has put together a solid undercard for Florida Derby day this Saturday. Here’s a look at a pair of turf races that precede the main event.

Gulfstream Race 10 (Post time: 4:17 p.m. Eastern)

The $100,000 Sand Springs Stakes

One mile on turf

#5 VALEDICTORIAN (5-2, morning-line favorite) has the recency edge on the classy #9 PROCTOR’S LEDGE (4-1) in the Sand Springs. She hit the board in two straight over this course before taking the Suwannee River two starts back over Rymska. When last seen in the Honey Fox, VALEDICTORIAN and Tyler Gaffalione may have moved just a bit too soon as she settled for second behind the comebacking Precieuse. Gaffalione should be able to make amends on VALEDICTORIAN by getting first run on expected leader TOO CHARMING.

PROCTOR’S LEDGE missed the board in three straight graded events before hitting the shelf last October. But the multiple graded stakes winner gets serious class relief for her 2019 debut. PROCTOR’S LEDGE might be a little rusty and may want a bit more ground than this, but she is 2-for-2 all-time at Gulfstream. John Velazquez will be aboard.

#6 TOO CHARMING (8-1) and #8 ANDINA DEL SUR (8-1) hit the wire together in the Tropical Park Oaks on Dec. 29, with the former making every yard and winning the bob. TOO CHARMING hasn’t been seen since, while ANDINA DEL SUR had a tough trip over yielding ground in the South Beach Stakes on Jan. 26 last time out. The Tom Albertrani stablemates are fast enough to compete here. Javier Castellano and Luis Saez have the respective assignments.

The play: $6 exacta 5/9, $2 exacta 5/6,8, $2 exacta 9/5 ($12)


Gulfstream Race 13 (Post time: 6 p.m. Eastern)

The Grade II, $250,000 Pan American Stakes

1 1/2-miles on turf

#8 SOGLIO (3-1, morning-line favorite), who tends to settle for minor awards in spots like this, represents just one of many who have a chance in this wide-open renewal of the Pan American. So we’ll take a shot with #9 BIGGER PICTURE at healthy odds of 6-1.

BIGGER PICTURE was last seen crushing the competition in the 1 1/2-mile Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston. It was his second straight win in that event. BIGGER PICTURE seems to be improving at the age of eight, running strong speed figures in the Connally Turf Cup and the Hollywood Turf Cup (second by a neck) two starts ago. He typically closes from well back but has the tactical speed to put himself near a potentially glacial pace. Tyler Gaffalione has the call.

The play: $8 win 9

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