Racing News

Soaring Empire takes aim at Florida Derby

Grade 3-placed SOARING EMPIRE (Empire Maker), a smart winner of a seven-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream Park in his three-year-old debut, will make the fourth start of his career and first around two turns in the March 20 Florida Derby (G1), trainer Cam Gambolati revealed Thursday.

"We've weighed the options and decided to go ahead and give him a chance," Gambolati said from his base at Palm Meadows. "His race here was very good to win after getting nailed at the start and beat a good field. I know we're a little behind the eight-ball, but they only get one chance (at making the Kentucky Derby [G1])."

Soaring Empire captured his career debut at Monmouth last September. Despite his stamina-oriented pedigree, he won that 5 1/2-furlong maiden going away by 3 1/4 lengths. The well-bred dark bay raced only once more at two, finishing a creditable third in the November 1 Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs.

Reappearing on February 25 at Gulfstream, Soaring Empire was bumped solidly at the start, but rallied from eighth to score by three-quarters of a length. Eddie Castro has been aboard for all three of the colt's starts.

"I was going to work him this morning, but decided to hold off because of the weather and wait," Gambolati said Thursday, adding that Soaring Empire would probably work on Sunday.

"Eddie (Castro) will ride him. Some (trainers) don't like the six weeks (between the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby), but it happens to fit my schedule for this horse.

"If he needs more earnings, I can run him once more, maybe the Blue Grass ([G1] at Keeneland on April 10)."

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos


California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.