By Dick Downey
Ninety-seven horses were nominated for the Florida Derby, including Holy Bull winer Cairo Prince. And yes, Social Inclusion is among the nominees. March 15 was tbe deadline to nominate.
“He’s doing great. He’s probably doing better than I am, waiting all this time," said Cairo Prince's trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "He continues to train great, and we’re very pleased with him. He’s ready. Every week, he’s been working great."
Sheik Mohammed’s Darley Stable recently purchased a majority interest in Cairo Prince from Namcook Stables, Paul Braverman, Harvey Clarke and Craig Robinson. Cairo Prince brought $250,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Sale. He has won three of four starts – his only loss coming in a nose decision to Florida Derby nominee Honor Code in the Remsen Stakes.
Wildcat Red and General a Rod, who have developed a rivalry after running two-one and one-two in the Gulfstream Park Derby and Fountain of Youth Stakes, are among the few nominees definite for the race.
Todd Pletcher leads all trainers with 24 nominations. Constitution is being pointed to the Florida Derby. He's a two-time winner at the track with maiden and allowance wins.
Other prominent nominees who have visited the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle following impressive outings are the Swale winner Spot and allowance winner Social Inclusion.
There's no word yet on whether either horse will be entered in the Florida Derby. Spot most recently won the Swale Stakes for trainer Nick Zito. Social Inclusion has been the subject of multiple offers since blowing away Honor Code in an allowance race last week and is trained by 85-year-old Calder stalwart Manny Azpura.
A complete list of the nominations can be found here, and their past performance charts can be found here.