(Edited Gulfstream Park press release)
Robert LaPenta and Jacks or Better Farm’s 3-year-old Jackson Bend worked a sharp half-mile in :47 Feb. 13 at Palm Meadows in Florida for trainer Nick Zito in preparation for his role as one of the favorites in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park.
The move was the fastest of 42 horses timed at the distance. Jackson Bend is a Florida-bred chestnut son of Hear No Evil --Sexy Stockings, by Tabasco Cat. He finished a game second last out in the one-mile Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 23 at Gulfstream. He was beaten three-quarters of a length by now sidelined Winslow Homer in his first start since winning the $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder last October.
In addition to Jackson Bend, the probable/possible field for the Fountain of Youth also includes Kingfield Farm’s Buddy's Saint, WinStar Farm’s Drosselmeyer , Zayat Stable’s Eskendereya , Dogwood Stable’s Aikenite , Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Pleasant Prince, Michael Bruder and Frank Jones, Jr.’s Lost Aptitude, Flying Zee Stable and partners’ Pulsion, and Kisber Dark Horse Stable’s Positive Split.
Positive Split also worked Feb. 13, covering five furlongs in 1:00 over a “muddy” track at Gulfstream for trainer Ken McPeek. The son of Repent will be a longshot in the Fountain of Youth after finishing third in an allowance going nine furlongs Jan. 18 in his first start since breaking his maiden at Keeneland Oct. 31.
McPeek had another leading 3-year-old prospect from his barn working at Gulfstream Feb. 13 as Chasing Dreams Racing 2008’s Noble's Promise posted a “bullet” half-mile in :46 2/5. The move was only the second for the son of Cuvee since a brief freshening after finishing a game second to Lookin At Lucky last out in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park Dec. 19.