In a quarterback-heavy year, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is the overwhelming favorite to go first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft picks. After that, though, things begin to get interesting. Any number of QBs could go in the 2-3 spots of the draft and there's been plenty of speculation on the order, leading to some attractive options in the betting odds and to some intriguing NFL Draft prop bets.
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Florida Derby Picks
Florida Derby Betting Tips
By Brent Sedo
Set to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the Gulfstream dirt, the Florida Derby has drawn an initial field of 11, although it's suspected that trainer Todd Pletcher will scratch the second of his charges (Battalion Runner, 3-1 in the morning line) to run in the (G1) Santa Anita Derby instead.
That will leave nine others to face Gunnevera, listed as the ML favorite at odds of 9-5. A Kentucky-bred trained by Antonio Sano, Gunnevera will be making his sixth graded-stakes start. He's coming off a win in the (G2) Fountain of Youth Stakes last month after running second in the (G2) Holy Bull at Gulfstream in his season debut.
As a late closer breaking from the outside gate, look for Gunnevera to drop back on the pack early, and try to kick on past the early leaders as the field turns for home.
The Todd Pletcher trainee that is expected to run the race is Always Dreaming (4-1), a lightly raced Bodemiester colt who took the field wire-to-wire in fairly slow fractions last out in an allowance event at Gulfstream run at 1 1/8 miles.
He'll once again try to control the pace on the front end, and while there is no question he'll be able to get the distance, it will be interesting to see how he handles pace pressure likely to come from Three Rules (8-1) and possibly State Of Honor (8-1).
The latter of those is short on wins, with only one victory in nine lifetime starts. But he has finished in the money in five straight, including running second last out in the (G2) Tampa Bay Derby behind the highly regarded Tapwrit, who set a track and stakes record in that race last month. State of Honor led from the gate at Tampa Bay before faltering late, and trainer Mark Casse may want to experiment out of the #1 post position and try to stalk just off the pace.
Rounding out the bottom of the exotics, Dale Romans' Impressive Edge (12-1) has two wins from three starts this year, all at Gulfstream. Although he could do no better than fourth in the (G2) Swale Stakes in early February, he came back from that to score an eight-length win in allowance company last out, and his off-the-pace style may leave him in good position for a small reward if any of the front runners falter late.
The Florida Derby goes Saturday, April 1 from Gulfstream Park. Post time is 6:40 PM Eastern.
Entries w/ ML Odds
1) State of Honor (8-1)
2) Talk Logistics (30-1)
3) Charlie The Greek (50-1)
4) Always Dreaming (4-1)
5) Quinientos (50-1)
6) Coleman Rocky (30-1)
7) Unbridled Holiday (30-1)
8) Impressive Edge (12-1)
9) Battalion Runner (3-1)
10) Three Rules (8-1)
11) Gunnevera (9-5)
#1 - Gunnevera
#2 - Always Dreaming
#3 - State Of Honor
#4 - Impressive Edge
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