Florida Derby undercard picks and plays, 3/28/20

In addition to the Grade I, $750,000 Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park is hosting nine lucrative stakes races this Saturday. Here are our previews of a pair of those undercard events.

Gulfstream Race 9 (Post time: 3:34 p.m. Eastern)

The $100,000 Sand Springs Stakes

One mile on turf

#5 NEWSPAPEROFRECORD (9-5, morning-line favorite) figures to attract the most attention in the betting, but her three-year-old season left plenty to be desired after her Breeders’ Cup-winning two-year-old campaign. She looks like a “bet against,” especially at these odds.

#2 ZOFELLE (9-2) is the most logical alternative. The deep-closing daughter of Zoffany won three straight starts on grass at the Fair Grounds, including an ungraded stake, before encountering traffic trouble in a fifth-place finish last time out. The rider switch to Joel Rosario inspires confidence.

The play: $10 win 2

Gulfstream Race 12 (Post time: 5:26 p.m. Eastern)

The Grade II, $200,000 Pan American Stakes

 1 1/2-miles on turf

#9 ZULU ALPHA (3-5, morning-line favorite) stands out off his convincing victories in both the Pegasus World Cup Turf and Mac Diarmida Stakes earlier in the meet. If he runs back to either of those efforts on what is clearly his favorite course (5-4-0-0 all-time at Gulfstream), ZULU ALPHA should prove tough to tame under Tyler Gaffalione.

#2 BEMMA’S BOY (10-1) wasn’t beaten by much in either the River City Handicap two-back or the J.B. Connally Turf Cup last time out. He’s drilling well for this for Mike Maker, who names Florent Geroux to ride.

#10 FOCUS GROUP (8-1) won this race last year, though the second half of his campaign was highly disappointing. Perhaps new trainer Christophe Clement can breathe some life into this son of Kitten’s Joy. Luis Saez sees fit to climb aboard.

The play: $5 exacta 9/2,10 ($10)

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