The Grade II, $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes brings 12 Kentucky Derby hopefuls together at Gulfstream Park this Saturday. The 1 1/16th-mile heat, which carries 85 Derby points (awarded 50-25-10-5), goes as the finale on a stakes-laden 14-race program. Estimated post time for the Fountain of Youth is 6:04 p.m. ET.
#7 COUNTRY GRAMMER (15-1) was last seen breaking his maiden by 3 1/4-lengths while going away in a 1 1/8-mile heat at Aqueduct. It was his dirt debut and only his second career start, so he has room to improve. The runner-up, Portos, was a next-out winner and returned to run third in the Withers earlier this month. COUNTRY GRAMMER hasn’t raced since that November victory, but trainer Chad Brown has him working smartly for his three-year-old debut (half-mile bullet drill on Feb. 15). Javier Castellano will be aboard the promising $450k son of Tonalist in the Fountain of Youth.
#5 DENNIS’ MOMENT (2-1, morning-line favorite) will probably go off at a short price in the Fountain of Youth in spite of his woeful last-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The slow Santa Anita surface and bad break may have inhibited him, but it was still a disconcerting effort. However, DENNIS’ MOMENT’s 19-length maiden victory at Ellis Park and subsequent victory in the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs stand out on paper. The Dale Romans trainee is working well over this course and drew a good post, so he has every chance to rebound in the Fountain of Youth. Flavien Prat will fly in for the call.
#6 AS SEEN ON TV (9-2) was a close second to #12 CHANCE IT in January’s Mucho Macho Stakes at Gulfstream. The Kelly Breen trainee is certainly capable of turning the tables on that foe in the Fountain of Youth based on the post draw alone. AS SEEN ON TV, who retains Paco Lopez, boasts a 4-2-2-0 career record.
The play: $8 exacta 7/5, $5 exacta 7/6, $5 exacta 5/7, $2 exacta 5/6 ($20)
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