Our focus will be at Gulfstream Park this week as our highlighted race will be the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes for three year olds going a mile and a sixteenth.
The entire card at Gulfstream is very strong as they will be running a whopping nine Graded Stakes races.
Although we won’t be breaking down either race, also keep an eye on the eighth race at Santa Anita this Friday as, although it’s a “non-winner other than,” it has enough talent in it to be a Stakes race.
Trainer Bob Baffert sends out mega talents Dessman and Roadster, while John Sadler’s Nolo Contesto, who drew the rail, also seems to have ability.
Saturday March 2, 2019
Race: 13 (5:32 PM EST Post)
Fountain of Youth Stakes
On the road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby, there is not another horse that intrigues more than Hidden Scroll. This gorgeous, rather small, colt by the equally gorgeous Hard Spun, ran one of the most impressive debut races ever seen. On January 26th, this colt blew the gate and ripped through torrid early fractions (:22.2, :44.4 and 1:09.2) on his way to annihilating a maiden field, while winning by 14 lengths and registering a tower 104 Beyer Speed Figure. This Bill Mott trainee finished a mile in an outstanding 1:34.4 while basically being eased up on in deep stretch. We had to watch the replay a few times to wrap our heads around such a colossal effort. Of course, the elephant in the room is he did that on a sloppy track, which in turn begs the question; can he repeat that performance on a fast track?
Although Vekoma will be making his first start in 118 days, he showed serious ability while winning his first two career races in New York. Chestnut colt by Candy Ride whistled six furlongs in 1:08.4 in September, then came back about six weeks later to take down the Grade: 2, one-mile Nashua Stakes in an excellent 1:36.3, proving he can carry his wealth of speed.
Two other items worth noticing: he’ll go first time Lasix here and he ran a hole in the wind over the notoriously deep Palm Beach Downs Training Track last week, signaling readiness.
Signalman might be your post time favorite in this spot but check this out. Colt by General Quarter completely outran his 67-1 odds, while making up a ton of ground late in chasing two-year-old colt champion Game Winner in the Breeders Cup Juvenile race in November. This Ken McPeek trainee then came back about three weeks later and overcame traffic trouble to gamely win the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Down. Figures among the vanguard at the end of this one.
Honourable mentions include Global Campaign, who is a half brother to the super talented Bolt d’Oro. By Curlin, this colt beat maidens in his initial journey then came back to whip first level allowance foes while being “wrapped up” late both times. We have clearly not seen the best of this colt by any stretch and, at this point, there is no telling how good he is. We should find out more come Saturday.
After winning his debut and then finishing a very good second in the Grade, 1 Champagne Stakes in just his second career start, Code of Honor’s last race was too bad to be true. It’s clear that trainer Shug McGaughey backed off of him and “rebooted” so to speak.
Albeit this colt is a stretch runner, so him drawing the rail hurts his chances, we should be expecting a bounce back performance off his abysmal 2019 debut where he was a fading fourth, beaten by almost eight lengths.
Meanwhile, Epic Dreamer set a fast pace in the Holy Bull last time out and had every excuse to cave in late but he did not. In fact, this son of Orb held very well in deep stretch while checking in fourth but was only beaten by 2+ length, which figures prominent early here and could be tough in the late stages once again.
If you are hunting for a long shot for your bets on this race, take a look at Union’s Destiny, who blew the doors off of maidens back in August then ran sneaky good in the Smooth Air Stakes in December. Note the speed figure in the Smooth Air as it states he can contend vs. these.