Florida Derby set for last Saturday in March

08/07/2014 2:44 PM

08/07/2014 2:50 PM

Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Derby will once again serve as the final race at Gulfstream Park for 3-year-olds headed to the 2015 Kentucky Derby.

The 1 1/8-mile, $1 million Florida Derby will take place on Saturday, March 28, five weeks before the 141st Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Other stakes for 3-year-olds at the South Florida track are the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man, formerly the Gulfstream Park Derby, at a mile and six- furlong, $100,000 Spectacular Bid on Jan. 3; 1 1/16-mile, $400,000 Holy Bull and seven-furlong, $150,000 Hutcheson on Jan. 24; 1 1/16-mile, $400,000 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 21 and the seven-furlong, $200,000 Swale on Feb. 28.

The 1 1/8-mile, $500,000 Donn Handicap for older horses will be conducted on Saturday, Feb. 7. Older horses will come back on March 7 for the one-mile, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap.

"The stakes schedule for the 2014-2015 Championship Meet shows Gulfstream Park's commitment to Thoroughbred racing, horsemen throughout North America, and our fans," said P.J. Campo, Gulfstream's Vice President of Racing. "We have increased the purses of nine stakes races, added two more, and tweaked some of the distances of our graded stakes to help horsemen as they prepare their horses for some of our major races later in the meet.

"The changes we've made have come after careful consideration and dialogue with horsemen from around the country. We also talked to fans and took into consideration the changes they suggested. Horsemen will find kinder progressions in distances and better spacing to some of our stakes races, and fans will see large fields and our weekends filled with major graded-stakes races."

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