A field of 10 led by Forte line up on Saturday in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2), one of eight graded stakes on a marathon 14-race card at Gulfstream Park.
The Fountain of Youth is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 50-20-15-1-5 points up for grabs for the top five finishers of the race. The race also serves as a prep for the marquee event of the Gulfstream park championship meeting, the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on April 1.
The Todd Pletcher trained Forte is the 7-5 morning line favorite for the Fountain of Youth. The colt was last seen winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last fall at Keeneland.
“He seems to be thriving right now,” said Pletcher. “I hope he can continue on that trajectory. We’re super-pleased with the way he’s coming into the race.”
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Among his major foes are Swale (G3) winner General Jim (6-1) Holy Bull (G2) winner Rocket Can (8-1) and last year’s Champagne (G1) winner Blazing Sevens (7-2).
The 14-race card at Gulfstream Park kicks off at 11:00am ET with the Fountain of Youth the final race on the day.
Let’s head out to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Gulfstream Park Race 14 The Fountain of Youth (G2) 5:43 ET
1 General Jim 6-1
4 Forte 7-5
6 Blazing Sevens 7-2
8 Rocket Can 8-1
The Shug trainee missed a day of training and may scratch to wait for a prep race in a couple of weeks, but if he goes he is an intriguing option to the chalk at a decent enough price. The colt cut back to seven furlongs last out and earned a career top winning the Swale (G3) over the main track here. The race did not come up that tough. He had a rough trip two back in the Mucho Macho Man where he checked in fourth, beaten 1 ½ lengths. He has won twice going two turns on turf and has the pedigree to handle going long on turf, by Into Mischief out of a Curlin mare. The mare was actually best sprinting on turf. Shug is 24% winners moving runners from sprint to route. Decent value if we catch most of the 6-1 morning line.
The Pletcher trainee won four of his five starts as a two-year-old capped off by a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). The runner up in the Juvie, Cave Rock has not run back and the third place finisher National treasure was third in the Sham (G3) in his next start. He has been working sharply and looks good schooling on Thursday. Pletcher is 25% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a61-180-day break. With Irad up the price is going to by puny.
This guy also made his last start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile where he had trouble early and finished evenly in a fourth place finish. That effort was his first trip around two turns. He won the one mile Champagne (G1) two back at Aqueduct in the slop. He was beaten a dozen lengths by Forte three back in the Hopeful (G1) in his stakes debut going seven furlongs at Saratoga, again in the slop. Solid works and this colt looks as if he still has a ton of upside.
WIN: General Jim to win at 4-1 or better.
EXACTA: 1 / 4,6,8 and 1,4 / 1,4,6