The $3.24 billion economic impact produced annually by the Florida Thoroughbred industry will be on full display Saturday when Florida-breds compete for more than $10,000,000 million in purse money and $360,000 in FTBOA Florida-bred and FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes bonuses at Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct Racetrack, Fonner Park and Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

Clapton, who will be racing in the black and orange colors of Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi’s RRR Racing in the $12 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan, will be attempting to produce the single biggest paycheck of the day.

Should the 5-year-old son of Arindel’s Brethren upset the mile-and-a-quarter test slated for a 12:35 p.m. EDT post, he will earn the $7.2 million first prize and increase his career earnings to $8,160,157, passing Silver Charm to rank second on the list of all-time leading Florida-bred money earners. Skip Away’s $9,616,360 tops that list.

Coming off of a third-place finish behind Dubia World Cup rival Military Law in the Al Maktoum Classic (G2) at Meydan on March 2, Clapton is trained by Chad Summers and will be ridden by Dylan Davis.

Clapton is listed at 59-1 on the morning line and looks to win for the first time since taking the Lukas Classic (G2) at Churchill Downs in September.

Out of Alexandra Rylee, by Alfleet Alex, Clapton was bred in Florida by Arindel.

Earlier on the card at Meydan, RRR Racing’s Isolate and HRH Prince Saud bin Salman’s Scotland Yard represent Florida Thoroughbred breeders in the $1 million Godolphin Mile.

Isolate will be trying to improve on his sixth-place finish behind winner Senor Buscador in the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh. He is trained by Doug Watson and will be ridden by Luis Saez. 

Isolate is by Mark Valeski out of Tranquil Song, by Unbridled’s Song and was bred in Florida by Woodford Thoroughbreds.

Scotland Yard finished eighth in the Saudi Cup most recently for trainer Nicholas Bachalard and will be ridden Saturday by Luis Morales. The 5-year-old son of Quality Road out of Leslie’s Harmony, by Curlin was bred by Bridlewood Farm.

While Clapton will be running in the richest race in the world, Florida-breds Hades, Seminole Chief and Iris’s Dream will be trying to earn qualifying points into the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, the most prestigious race on the planet.

The Florida Derby offers 200 Derby points to the top five finishers on a 100-50-25-15-10 basis and Hades is on the Derby bubble ranking 21st with 20 points. Last year, King Russell was the last to make the 20-horse Derby starting gate with 40 points so Hades likely must finish third or better to make this year’s Run for the Roses. Neither Seminole Chief nor Iris’s Dream have Derby qualifying points so they would need to finish in the top two to have a chance at making the Derby field.

The Florida Derby also offers a $100,000 Florida-bred bonus and a $100,000 Florida Sire Stakes bonus to the top 3 finishers presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.

Fiona’s Magic and Neom City are both entered in the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), a qualifying race for the prestigious Longiness Kentucky Oaks (G1). The Gulfstream Park Oaks offers 200 Oaks points on a 100-50-25-15-10 schedule.

The Gulfstream Park Oaks offers a $50,000 Florida-bred bonus and a $50,000 Florida Sire Stakes bonus to the top 3 finishers presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.

Fiona’s Magic already has 60 qualifying points for the Oaks and likely has enough to make the Kentucky Oaks field. Last year, Wonder Wheel was the last to make the 14-horse Oaks field with 48 points.

Neom City does not have any Oaks points and likely needs to finish first or second to qualify. 

Other Florida-breds entered in stakes at Gulfstream Park Saturday include Private Thoughts in the $125,000 Cutler Bay, Lure Him and The Skipper Too in the $150,000 Ghostzapper (G3), and Shaq Diesel and Ticking in the $125,000 Sir Shackleton.

Florida-bred Rocco Strong is entered to run in the $150,000 Excelsior at Aqueduct and Florifa-bred Ray Arewethereyet goes in the $20,000 Springtime Tradition at Fonner Park.

Return to the March 29 issue of Wire to Wire