High-profile 3-year-olds with Triple Crown aspirations will be showcased in renewals of the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 26 at Gulfstream, but it will be no surprise if one or more 3-year-olds entered in the third race allowance joins the elite of the division with a good performance earlier in the afternoon.
Centennial Farm’s Arch Traveler was nominated to the Hutcheson and Lori and George Hall’s Nacho Business was nominated to both Saturday stakes, but their connections have opted for the third race, a $51,500 ‘a other than’ allowance at 1 1/8 miles with a field of seven that could lead to a chance in the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) on April 3.
Jockey Jose Lezcano rides Arch Traveler for trainer Jimmy Jerkens as he makes his third start of the meet following a close-up third in a maiden special on Jan. 15 and impressive maiden score by 2 1/2 lengths going seven furlongs on Feb. 6. The son of Sky Mesa was a $260,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase that finished a good second in his debut at Aqueduct on Dec. 11.
Jockey Joe Bravo rides Nacho Business for trainer Kelly Breen after they teamed up for a very impressive debut victory going a mile over the track on Jan. 30 with Bowman’s Causeway second, the latter coming back to win and is entered in the Fountain of Youth. Nacho Business is a son of Rahy purchased for $150,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale.
Another contender with a good effort over the track is Jim Bakke and Gerry Isbister’s Cool Blue Red Hot to be ridden by Rajiv Maragh for trainer Angel Penna, Jr. A son of Harlan's Holiday purchased for $120,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sale, Cool Blue Red Hot ran in a similar race on Jan. 21, finishing a well-beaten second behind Soldat on a sloppy track, the latter going into the Fountain of Youth as one of the favorites.
Completing the field are Hothersal, Porcini Prince, Private Prize, and Washington’s Rules.