? The Florida Derby, a 1‚⅛-mile test for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, was first run in 1952. Who won the inaugural race?
This is an article from the March 23, 1964 issue
•Sky Ship, ridden by Ronnie Nash, won a $17,550 (now $100,000) purse with a time of 1:50 4/5.
? What was the fastest time recorded in the Florida Derby and how does it compare with the Gulfstream Park record for 1‚⅛ miles?
•Gen. Duke won the 1957 renewal in 1:46 4/5, which set the track record for 1‚⅛ miles. In 1960 Day Court, a 5-year-old horse, equaled the mark in the Southern Cross Handicap.
? Has any jockey won three consecutive times?
•Yes, William Hartack. He finished first aboard Gen. Duke in 1957, Tim Tam in 1958 and Easy Spur in 1959. In his other Florida Derbys he finished second two times and third once.
? How many times have California-bred and Florida-bred horses won the Florida Derby?
•Twice each. Correlation and Candy Spots, both California horses, won in 1954 and 1963. Florida's Needles and Carry Back took the 1956 and 1961 Florida Derbys.
? How many of the horses that finished first, second or third in the Florida Derby have gone on to take the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness or the Belmont?
•Ten different horses have won a total of 14 Triple Crown events—five Derbys, six Preaknesses and three Belmonts. Florida Derby winners Tim Tam (1958) and Carry Back (1961) each won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, while Needles (1956) took the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont, and Nashua (1955) won the Preakness and the Belmont. Bally Ache (1960) and Candy Spots (1963) both finished first in the Preakness. Although they placed second in the Florida race, Bold Ruler (1957), Sword Dancer (1959) and Venetian Way (1960) went on to win the Preakness, Belmont and Kentucky Derby respectively. The most improvement, however, was shown by Iron Liege (1957), who went from third place in the Florida Derby to first in the Kentucky Derby.