The brilliant maiden winner Hidden Scroll is among the main contenders in a field of eleven three-year-olds that will line up for Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying race with 50-20-10-5 points up for grabs toward entry into the Run for the Roses.
The Bill Mott trained Hidden Scroll is the 9-5 morning line favorite. The colt broke his maiden in his debut by 14 lengths and earned a lofty 104 Beyer Speed Figure.
“You have to have one win like he did the first time and come out of it in good order. He’s got an awfully good mind. Usually, after a first race, horses will get a little hyped up and you have to wait for them to come back down. He eats well and has been good in his training. His works have been good,” Mott said. “This isn’t a normal situation for us to jump right into a graded stake, but it’s that time of year and he’s doing well enough that we’re going to give him this one shot and see where it takes us.”
The colt faces a tough task with plenty of promising three-year-olds that are already battled tested in stakes company.
Among those are Nashua (G3) winner Vekoma, Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Signalman and Champagne (G1) runner up Code of Honor.
The Fountain of Youth serves as a prep for the marquee race of the Gulfstream Park Championship Meeting, the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 30.
There are eight supporting stakes on an outstanding 14-race card at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. Among the other stakes on the card are the $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2), $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) and the $150,000 Honey Fox (G3).
I will have my full card report for Fountain of Youth Day along with my report for Aqueduct available.
Let’s head out to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Gulfstream Park Race 13 The Fountain of Youth (G2) Post time 5:32 ET
5 Vekoma 7-2
6 Signalman 9-2
7 Hidden Scroll 9-5
1 Code of Honor 6-1
This George Weaver trainee makes his three-year-old debut here and first start since winning the Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct going a one turn mile on Nov. 4. In that outing the colt bobbled at the break, tracked the early pace while wide, taking over the lead and failing to switch leads until late, holding on to win by 1 ¾ lengths. The runner up Network Effect came back to run second in the Remsen (G2) in his next outing while the third-place finisher Call Paul won the Pennsylvania Nursery and the Swale (G3) in his next two starts. Our top pick has been working sharply at Palm Meadows for the Weaver barn that is 23% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff He returns with Lasix and has enough pedigree to handle two turns. He is by Candy Ride out of the stakes winner Mona De Momma ($384,389).
This colt had a solid juvenile campaign capped off by winning the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in the slop at Churchill Downs in his last outing on Nov. 24. He was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and runner up in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) in his first two starts in stakes company. The colt has been working steadily over the main track here for the Ken McPeek barn that is 10% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. It looks as if he is going to get enough pace in front of him to set things up nicely for him.
This colt ran huge in his debut here, taking the field gate to wire and drawing away to win by 14 lengths and earning a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. That was for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott who is not known to have them fully cranked first time out. That outing did come in the slop. Three runners have come out of that race to run back with a pair running second, one of those fourth-place finisher Bodexpress, who earned a 91 Beyer on Feb. 16 in a neck loss. The colt is in deeper here and there is plenty of early zip in the race that could make things tough for him. The colt is by Hard Spun out of an Empire Maker mare that has dropped two other winners. He could just be a freak but at 9-5 or less I am willing to take a stab against him for the top spot.
WIN: Vekoma to win at 7-2 or better.
EXACTA: 5,6 / 1,5,6,7
TRIFECTA: 5,6 / 1,5,6,7 / 1,4,5,6,7