Winner of Fountain of Youth Earns Trip to Kentucky Derby
A big day of racing is set for Saturday at Gulfstream Park as the Fountain of Youth program includes eight graded stakes races. A total of $1.5 million in purse money for nine stakes races overall will be highlighted by the 1 1/16 mile $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2). The winner of that race will earn 50 qualifying points in the Kentucky Derby Championship Series and secure a spot in the starting gate for the May 6 Kentucky Derby.
Headlining the Fountain of Youth is 5/2 favorite Irish War Cry. He was an impressive 3 ¾- length winner in the Holy Bull Stakes at the same distance and track four weeks ago. In that race, Irish War Cry flashed a career-best and field-high 110 Equibase Speed Figure (ESF) in just his third career start. Top contenders to knock off the morning line favorite are Delta Jackpot winner and Holy Bull runner-up Gunnevera (7/2) and Practical Joke (3/1), who enters off a four month layoff following a 3rd place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He also won a pair of Grade 1 stakes last summer and fall, the Hopeful Stakes and the Champagne Stakes. Beasley (6/1) is the only other entry less than 10-1 in the 11-horse field, and he earned a stakes-quality 106 ESF when second at the distance and racetrack last month.
The race 13 Fountain of Youth will complete the Late Pick 4 at Gulfstream, which has a guaranteed prize pool of $600,000. That will include the 1 mile Davona Dale in race 10 with top contenders Miss Sky Warrior (5/2), Pretty City Dancer (7/2) and Eloquent Riddle (9/2). The Canadian Turf Stakes follows in race 11, and the 1 mile turf test will showcase Heart to Heart (2/1), Projected (3/1) and Interpol (4/1). Race 12 is the Mac Diarmida Stakes, a 1 3/8-mile turf race with trainer Mike Maker saddling three hot contenders in Bigger Picture (4/1), Taghleeb (5/1) and Charming Kitten (8/1). They will try to take down race favorite Wake Forest (3/1) trained by Chad Brown.
The other stakes races and contenders on the Sat., March 4 card at Gulfstream include:
Race 4: Herecomesthebride Stakes – 1 1/16 mile on turf for 3-year-old filliesO. Coasted (8/5), India Mantuana (7/2), Dream Dancing (9/2).
Race 5: Fred W. Hopper Stakes – 1 mile for 4-year-olds and up. Greenpointcrusader (2/1), War Story (5/2), Bird Song (9/2), Realm (5/1).
Race 6: Sand Springs Stakes – 1 mile on turf for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up. Catch a Glimpse (7/5), Celestine (9/5), Mizz Money (8/1).
Race 7: The Very One Stakes – Suffused (8/5), Olorda (5/2), Desiree Clary (5/1), Try Your Luck (6/1).
Race 9: Palm Beach Stakes – 1 1/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds. Cowboy Culture (3/1), Ticonderoga (7/2), Channel Maker (9/2),