Ami’s Flatter is in 14th place with 20 Kentucky Derby points, so he's virtually assured of a Derby berth with a one, two or three finish in the Florida Derby -- but that's not the end of the story.
Even if the son of Flatter holds his own against the likes of Upstart, Itsaknockout and Materiality Saturday, trainer Josie Carroll will take a critical look at the Ontario-bred prospect’s stakes future.
“Mr. Dalos and I talked about it. Of course, we have a horse that’s also eligible for the Queen’s Plate, which is a million dollars in Canada. His comment to me was: ‘We need to decide if he’s good enough to be a competitor, as opposed to just showing up.’ He said, ‘I’d love to see my colors (in Louisville), but I’d like to see them there with a competitor, not just to be there,’” Carroll said.
Ami’s Flatter captured his debut at Woodbine last fall and has shown promise in Florida this year, finishing second in the Mucho Macho Man at the track on Jan. 3 before finishing fourth in the Sam Davis and second behind Carpe Diem when getting Lasix and blinkers for the first time in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Carroll is hopeful that her colt will be suited to the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Florida Derby.
“He’s certainly acts like that kind of horse. He’s out of a Victory Gallop mare, and Victory Gallop was a Belmont winner,” she said. “You hope that means something.”
Ami’s Flatter is rated fourth in the Florida Derby morning line at 8-1 and is scheduled to be ridden for the first time by Javier Castellano, Gulfstream’s reigning three-time champion who captured last year’s Florida Derby aboard Constitution.
“From day one we thought he was a decent horse,” Carroll said. “Now, we’ll find out how decent.”
Edited Gulstream Park release