HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Read the Footnotes is the clear favorite to win the Florida Derby, yet trainer Rick Violette Jr. could live with a loss.
Violette is simply looking for his talented colt to put in a solid effort today at Gulfstream Park without exerting himself the way he did in winning the Fountain of Youth last month.
Read the Footnotes can stake his claim as the best in the East with a victory over nine rivals, including the speedy Value Plus, unbeaten Tapit, and Sir Oscar, a winner in his first six races before a loss in the Fountain of Youth.
With Jerry Bailey aboard, Read the Footnotes is the early 7-5 favorite. If the son of Smoke Glacken performs like he did in his last race, Violette would be convinced his colt "is probably something special."
Tapit, the 5-1 third choice, puts his two-race unbeaten streak on the line in his first start in four months, a dominating win in the Laurel Futurity Nov. 15. Bought for $625,000 as a yearling, Tapit missed 19 days of training with sore shins.