Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes comes our way this Saturday, February 22 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Some of the best three year olds in the land will take to Gulfstream's dirt track and go 1 1/16 miles in search of the winner's share of the $400,000 purse and the 50 points awarded to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series.
A full field of 13 Kentucky Derby hopefuls will line up in the Fountain of Youth - race 11 on Gulfstream's Saturday card. Post time is 5:33 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all 13 combatants for this most important Grade 2 stakes.
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2014 Fountain of Youth Stakes Race Favorite Entries
Comminssioner - Todd Pletcher trained colt will race in stakes company for the first time Saturday but has been impressive in his three career starts thus far. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track over Top Billing January 3 after breaking maiden August 28 in his second career start and a second in his debut - a MSW at Monmouth Park August 8. He breaks from the rail with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the saddle as the likely favorite.
Top Billing - will race in stakes company for the first time for trainer Shug McGaughey having won two of his three career starts - an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out at this distance on this track and a MSW in his debut at Laurel Park December 6. His other career result was a second to Commissioner in an Allowance Optional Claiming January 3. Joel Rosario gets the call from an unfavorable post 12.
Fountain of Youth Stakes 2014 | Remaining Contenders
We Miss Artie - Todd Pletcher hopeful had a three length MSW score August 11 after a second in his debut in a similar race at Belmont Park July 4. Last time out was a respectable second in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes here January 19 after a somewhat disappointing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Before the Breeders' Cup was a terrific win in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 5 and a disappointing sixth in his stakes debut - in the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga August 29. He will be ridden by jockey Joe Bravo in the Fountain of Youth and is the 122-pound top weight and despite some inconsistency brings a fair amount of experience into the Fountain of Youth.
Wildcat Red - has five career starts for trainer Jose Garoffalo - the last being his best. He won the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes ahead of C. Zee on this track February 1 after a pair of seconds in minor stakes action also on this track - behind General a Rod in the Gulfstream Park Derby January 1 and in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes November 9. He started his career with a pair of wins as well - an Allowance in October and a MSW in his career debut September 14. That's three wins and two seconds in five career starts. He breaks from post 4 Saturday.
General a Rod - won the minor Gulfstream Park Derby last time out over Wildcat Red for trainer Michael Maker in his third career start after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs November 30 and a MSW score in his debut at Keeneland October 18. Javier Castellano gets the call.
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Almost Famous - has won two of four career starts for trainer Patrick Byrne - an Allowance Optional Claiming by six lengths at Churchill Downs November 9 and a MSW in his career debut at Churchill Downs in September. His other career results were a fourth last time out in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes here January 25 and another fourth in the Street Sense Stakes October 27. He breaks from post 8 Saturday and will have Calvin Borel in the saddle.
Medal Count - Dale Romans trained colt is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track January 12 after an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. That followed an equally disappointing fifth in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in October and a MSW score in his career debut - at Ellis Park September 1. Medal Count hasn't been great in his graded stakes action - he will need the race of his life Saturday to contend,
Casiguapo - debuted with a respectable third in the minor Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes June 22 at Calder and went on to break maiden for trainer Mario Morales - a MSW on that same track July 20. He had an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 5 after a very good graded stakes debut - a second behind Strong Mandate in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga September 2. Last time out was a career worst effort however - a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track February 2 after a good second in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot November 23. Casiguapo enters in so-so form but could be a threat this weekend.
C. Zee - is coming off a good second behind Wildcat Red in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes here February 1 after another second with a 90 Beyer Speed Figure in the minor Spectacular Bid Stakes on this track for trainer Stanley Gold. Before that was a MSW score in his second career start and a third in a MSW in his debut at Calder in September. He has placed in all four career starts and will be looking to better a pair of seconds in stakes action his last two starts.
Best Plan Yet - had not been worse than second in five of six career starts before an ugly ninth in the Gulfstream Derby here January 1 and a fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes also on this track January 25. Before that his only off the board finish came in his debut at Calder in June. He had a two race win streak this fall - the Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes October 12 and the Foolish Pleasure Stakes in September - both at Calder after a second in the Florida Stallion Affirmed Stakes and a MSW score. Best Plan Yet will be looking to rebound and to find his top form again after two poor results in his last two starts.
Our Caravan - Michael Dilger trained colt raced to a distant eight last time out in his second career start - the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes here January 25 after a MSW score in his debut also on this track December 14.
Hesinfront - Dale Romans trained colt is coming off a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 25 after a second in his only stakes action - the Grade 3 Dania Beach here December 21. He broke maiden Novembver 30 in his third career start - at Churchill Downs after a second and a sixth in MSW races to start his career.
East Hall - has an astounding 10 career starts already for trainer William Kaplan and is coming off a pair of thirds in his last two starts - the OBS Championship Stakes at Ocala Training Center January 21 and the Gulfstream Park Derby on this track January 1. He has just two wins with a second and four third place finishes in his 10 career starts and despite being the most experienced entries is a long shot to contend.
2014 Fountain of Youth Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 11 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:31 PM.
|1||Commissioner||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher|
|2||We Miss Artie||J. Bravo||T. Pletcher|
|3||Medal Count||J. Rocco, Jr.||D. Romans|
|4||Wildcat Red||L. Saez||J. Garoffalo|
|5||General a Rod||J. Castellano||M. Maker|
|6||Casiguapo||J. Lezcano||M. Morales|
|7||C. Zee||E. Zayas||S. Gold|
|8||Almost Famous||C. Borel||P. Byrne|
|9||Best Plan Yet||P. Lopez||S. Gold|
|10||Our Caravan||C. Lanerie||M. Dilger|
|11||Hesinfront||A. Jaen||D. Romans|
|12||Top Billing||J. Rosario||C. McGaughey III|
|13||East Hall||J. Leyva||W. Kaplan|