The Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park
There are 10 entries for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park this Saturday. There is also a prize purse of $400,000 covering 1 1/16 miles on dirt. The stakes event is open to three-year old thoroughbreds as one of the key 2023 Kentucky Derby prep races.
The Fountain of Youth Stakes is my favorite, a trio of legitimate contenders and a live longshot listed for this race.
Forte is a Kentucky-bred colt that is trained by Todd Pletcher and has raced at Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course and Keeneland Race Track. He won his last two races as a juvenile at Keeneland in the Breeders’ Futurity on Oct. 8 and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 4. They were Grade 1 stakes.
Forte is making his three-year debut in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park as the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby. He has drawn the fourth gate for this race with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. as a 7-5 favorite on the morning line odds.
Three Legitimate Contenders
As the top contender, Blazing Sevens is second-favorite at 7-2 odds. He is breaking from the No. 6 gate with jockey Joel Rosario. Trained by Chad Brown, this Kentucky-bred colt finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after winning the Champagne Stakes at Aqueduct on Oct. 1.
Blazing Sevens is also making his three-year old debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes after finishing in the money in three of four races as a two-year old.
General Jim is trained by Claude “Shug” McGaughey and he will start the No. 1 gate this is race with jockey Luis Saez. As a son of Into Mischief, he placed fourth in the 2023 Mucho Macho Man on Jan. 1 before winning the Grade 3 Swale Stakes on Feb. 4. Both these races were held at Gulfstream Park.
General Jim has finished first or third in five races (of six) in his early career. He has competed on dirt and turf from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles.
The third legitimate contender that is a shot in the Fountain of Youth Stakes is Rocket Can at 8-1 odds on the morning line. Trained by William Mott and ridden by jockey Junior Alvarado, he will start at No. 8 for this race.
Rocket Can won the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Feb. 4 of this year. He covered 1 1//16 miles on dirt in 1:44.97 over Shadow Dragon and West Coast Cowboy.
A Live Longshot
Speaking of Shadow Dragon, this live longshot is 12-1 in the morning line odds for this race. He is breaking from the No. 3 gate with jockey Jose Ortiz. Also trained by William Mott, Shadow Dragon raced for Peachtree Stable as a New York-bred colt. He has trained at Gulfstream since his second place finish in the Holy Bull.
Make sure to check out Kenneth Strong’s Gulfstream Park picks
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