OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes comes our way from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida this Saturday, February 27. A group of three years olds will take to Gulfstream's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's share of the $400,000 purse and the 50-20-10-5 points scale awarded toward a start in the Kentucky Derby in May.
A small but competitive field of just six will contest the Fountain of Youth Stakes - race 12 on Gulfstream's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 5:30 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all six entries for this intriguing Road to the Kentucky Derby Grade 2 stakes.
2016 Fountain of Youth Stakes Race Preview
Mohaymen - early favorite in the Kentucky Derby Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt finished second (albeit by a wide margin) in Eclipse Awards voting for two year old males. He hasn't been touched yet in his career - four starts and four wins. Last time out his win came by 3 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes here January 30 after wins in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes November 28, in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes November 4 and a dominant maiden score at first asking. Mohaymen is firmly on the Derby radar and is expected to be the one to catch Saturday - from gate 6 with Junior Alvarado guiding him.
Awesome Banner - has three career starts for trainer Stanley Gold - three wins by a combined 19 1/2 lengths. He debuted with a 9 3/4 length maiden score on this track in record time for 4 1/2 furlongs way back in June and posted a great win by 4 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes also on this track January 2 - that after a seven month layoff. Last time out was yet another impressive win - in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes also on this track January 30. Awesome Banner hasn't been touched so far and is expected to be competitive again Saturday in his first try around two turns. Jose Carabello has been tabbed to ride from post 5.
Zulu - impressive Todd Pletcher trained colt has two career starts and two wins. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off an impressive Allowance Optional Claiming score by 7 1/4 lengths January 14 and a maiden score at first asking December 5 - both results on this track. He looks to remain perfect in his career and leaves from gate 2 with John Velazquez guiding him.
Fellowship - Stanly Gold trained colt has nine career starts already with two wins, three seconds and a third place finish. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished a respectable third, six lengths behind Mohamen in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on this track January 30. It followed a disappointing fifth in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes here January 2 and consecutive runner-up finishes in minor stakes action - the Smooth Air Stakes November 28 and the Juvenile Sprint Stakes November 7. He also had a nice minor stakes win - the Florida Sire In Reality Stakes on this track October 3. Fellowship has been a tad tough to figure out but has hit the board in four of his last five starts overall. He hopes for his first graded stakes score Saturday when he leaves from the rail with Jose Lezcano aboard.
Awesome Speed - has three wins in four career starts for trainer Alan Goldberg - three straight victories ahead of this weekend. Last time out was a win in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes on this track January 2 which followed a nice win in the minor James F. Lewis III Stakes at Laurel Park in November and a maiden score in his second career start in October. He makes his graded stakes debut in very good form and will have Irad Ortiz in the saddle from gate 4.
Golden Ray - Juan Anders Rodriguez trained gelding has three wins and a third place finish in eight career starts. He makes his graded stakes debut in less-than-spectacular form - a ninth last time out in a Starter Stakes here February 15 followed a third in the minor OBS Championship Stakes at Ocala January 26 and seventh in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes on this track January 2. He did win two straight before that (no stakes) but hasn't been all that great since. Golden Ray hopes to get back on track from post 3 Saturday with Miguel Angel Vasquez guiding him.
2016 Fountain of Youth Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 12 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.
||Irad Ortiz, Jr.