With the Kentucky Derby prep races in their final few weeks, usracing.com is publishing profiles of the contenders for the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) on Saturday [March 27], a Derby points-qualifier offering 100-40-20-10 points to the first four finishers. Post-position and odds will be updated following Wednesday’s draw.
By Margaret Ransom
Known Agenda, who hails from the barn of two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, has yet to win a stakes race but earned a third in the Remsen (G3) at Aqueduct in early December.
The Curlin colt has been training in Florida since early January and hasn’t missed a beat after running fifth in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs in February. He put in an amazing 11-length allowance romp at 9 furlongs, with blinkers on for the first time, on Feb. 26 at Gulfstream.
Known Agenda breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02.52 at Palm Beach Downs on Saturday [March 20] in his final pre-Florida Derby move, an effort that more than satisfied his conditioner.
“I thought he went great,” Pletcher said. “The first eighth was a little slow. He went off in like 14 [seconds] and went the last half in 48 1/5. He looked good and seemed happy.
“I’ve liked the way he’s been training since his last race.”
Known Agenda is the only runner in the field to have defeated likely favorite Greatest Honour when he broke his maiden at Aqueduct back in early November.
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Owner: St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola)
Career record: 5-2-1-1
Career earnings: $104,600
Top Equibase speed figure: 103
Pedigree: Curlin-Byrama, by Byron
Running style: Mid-pack
Notes: Dam Byrama won the Vanity Stakes (G1) at Hollywood Park in 2013 over the synthetic and was subsequently sold to St. Elias Stable for $725,000 that November at Keeneland but never won another race, though she did pick up three more graded stakes placings … St. Elias Stable tried to sell Known Agenda as a yearling but kept him to be a member of their racing program after he failed to meet his reserve when bidding halted at $135,000 at Keeneland in September of 2019 … St. Elias Stable was a partner in 2017 Florida Derby/Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.
After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.
In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”
Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.