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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes will be contested this Saturday, February 21 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 for a shot at the winner's share of the $400,000 purse and the whopping 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby in May.
Eight sophomores have been confirmed for the Fountain of Youth Stakes - race 11 on Gulfstream's packed Saturday card. Post time is 5:30 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 2 stakes - a major prep for the $1 million Florida Derby in March.
Upstart - Richard Violette trained colt started his career with two nice wins - the minor Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga August 24 with a 95 Beyer Speed Figure after a maiden score at first asking. Last time out was a dominant win by 5 1/2 lengths in the competitive Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes here January 24 after a good third behind Texas Red and Carpe Diem in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and a respectable second behind Daredevil in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 4. He has placed in all three graded stakes starts, has certainly been trending upward ahead of this race and is a legitimate contender for the Kentucky Derby. Jose Ortiz Jr. rides the 8-5 morning line favorite and 122 pound top weight from gate 7.
Frosted - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt raced in stakes company for the first time November 29 and finished a respectable second behind Leave the Light On as 9-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct and followed that with another good runner-up finish last time out - behind Upstart in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on this track January 24. Those showings followed three MSW races to start his career. He finally broke maiden in his third start - by an impressive 5 1/2 lengths October 30 after a pair of seconds to begin his career. That makes a win and four second place finishes in five career starts - competitive every time out. He will have Irad Ortiz in the saddle of the 5-2 second choice looking to keep the upward trend going as he adds blinkers for the first time from gate 6 Saturday.
Itsaknockout - Todd Pletcher pupil will try to remain perfect in his career Saturday - two career starts and two wins so far. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 4 by five lengths after a maiden score at first asking December 7 - both results on this track. Luis Saez gets the call from post 5 Saturday in Itsaknockout's first stakes try and first race around two turns. He is the 4-1 third choice on the morning line.
Gorgeous Bird - Ian Wilkes trained colt will race in stakes company for the first time Saturday having won two of three career starts. He enters on a two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out on this track January 24 and a maiden score in his debut - at Churchill Downs November 22. Joel Rosario has been tabbed to ride in Gorgeous Bird's step up in competition at 6-1 odds - from gate 4.
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Bluegrass Singer - Marcus Vitali trained gelding has placed in seven of eight career starts - three wins, a second and three third place finishes. He enters off a good third behind Upstart and Frosted after setting the pace in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes here January 24 which followed a tidy two race wire-to-wire win streak - the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes January 3 and by 4 1/2 lengths in an Allowance Optional Claiming December 17 - both wins coming on this track. Before that was a third in the minor Buffalo Man Stakes in November and a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming in October. He has hit the board in all starts expect for his debut and is expected to be competitive again Saturday. Bluegrass Singer will depart as the 8-1 fifth choice from post 2 with Paco Lopez in the saddle.
Danny Boy - Dale Romans trained colt finished an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs September 6 and followed that with a respectable second behind Lawn Ranger in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes. Last time out was a bit of a stumble - an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile back on October 31. He also had a maiden score in his debut August 1. Danny Boy hopes bounce back from an uncharacteristic performance and make a little noise on the road to the Kentucky Derby when he leaves from the outside post at 15-1 odds with Corey Lanerie in the irons.
Juan and Bina - will race for the fifth time Saturday off an OK fourth in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes here January 24. Before that was a fifth in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes on this track January 3, a good second in the minor Smooth Air Stakes at Gulfstream Park West November 29 and a maiden score at first asking at Gulfstream Park West November 2. Javier Castellano will be in charge from the rail as Juan and Bina looks for his first stakes win at 20-1 on the morning line.
Frammento - Nick Zito pupil made his stakes debut last time out and finished sixth in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes after a second behind Bluegrass Singer in an Allowance Optional Claiming here December 17, a fourth in a similar race at Churchill Downs in November and a maiden score in his second career start - at Keeneland in October. John Velazquez will be aboard the longest shot in the field (30-1) looking for a strong bounce back from post 3.
Race 11 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.
|1||Juan and Bina||J. Castellano||G. Delgado|
|2||Bluegrass Singer||P. Lopez||M. Vitali|
|3||Frammento||J. Velazquez||N. Zito|
|4||Gorgeous Bird||J. Rosario||I. Wilkes|
|5||Itsaknockout||L. Saez||T. Pletcher|
|6||Frosted||I. Ortiz, Jr.||K. McLaughlin|
|7||Upstart||J. Ortiz||R. Violette, Jr.|
|8||Danny Boy||C. Lanerie||D. Romans|
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