Willmott Stables' Stephentown, an impressive allowance winner at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday, will take a major step up in class when he makes his next appearance in the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 16.
"I've always known this horse could run," trainer Tony Reinstedler said. "This was his first time around two turns and I liked the way he won. It's time to move him up to stakes company."
Ridden by Hall of Famer Pat Day as the 3-5 favorite in the seven-horse field, Stephentown found an opening between horses in the stretch and drew off to defeat Sludge by five lengths. The 3-year-old son of Wild Again completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.12.
Purchased by Peter Willmott for $500,000 at the 2000 Keeneland September yearling sale, Stephentown was second, beaten a neck, in his career debut at Ellis Park in July. He then overcame trouble to break his maiden by two lengths at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23.
Produced from the Screen King mare Lochlin, Stephentown was bred in Kentucky by Earl W. Daynes.