The Fountain of Youth Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida at the beginning of March. A Grade II event open to three-year-olds willing to race one and one-sixteenth miles on the dirt, it offers a purse of $400,000. It is the final stakes prep to the Florida Derby and is an official prep race for the Kentucky Derby.
The race was named for the mythical Florida spring that granted eternal youth, it was sought by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon who searched throughout the south eastern United States for it but never found the fountain.
Four colts, Tim Tam (1958), Kauai King (1966), Spectacular Bid (1979), and Thunder Gulch (1995) won this race then went on to become "Dual Classic Winners," the first three won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes the last won the Derby and the Belmont Stakes. The 1985 winner, Proud Truth, won that year's Breeders' Cup Classic. The Fountain of Youth Stakes was inaugurated in 1945 and run at various distances until 1953 when it was modified to 1 1/16 miles. In 2005, it was changed to a distance of 1 1/8 miles. In 2009, it was run at one mile. In 2012, Gulfstream added a second finish line so the Fountain of Youth and other dirt races could be contested at 1 1/16 miles.
The race was run twice in 1947 (at the beginning of the year for 3-year-olds and at the end of the year for 2-year-olds). The race was run in two divisions in 1953, 1983, 1986 and 1993.