Coglianese Photos/Lauren King

Undefeated Zulu Points to Fountain of Youth

Bernardini colt won his first two starts at sprint distances at Gulfstream.

Zulu, an impressive winner of his first two starts, will skip the Jan. 30 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) and resurface in the Feb. 27 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.

Todd Pletcher, who trains the 3-year-old Bernardini  colt for Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Stonestreet Stables, told Gulfstream officials the Fountain of Youth is a better fit for Zulu, who won his career debut by two lengths Dec. 15 and an entry-level allowance event by 7 1/4 lengths Jan. 15.

Both wins, at six and seven furlongs, respectively, were at Gulfstream. The Fountain of Youth is 1 1/8 miles; the Holy Bull is a sixteenth of a mile shorter.

"You would think a Bernardini out of a Summer Squall mare (Temporada) wouldn't have a limit, pedigree-wise," Pletcher said. "The question now is that it's going to be his first step up into a graded stakes against more seasoned, more experienced company, I would assume. We'll see what happens in the Holy Bull.

"I like the spacing (between his last race and the Fountain of Youth). He has already had two races over the track, and he seems to like it. You have to step up and see where you are at some point."

Zulu, bred in Kentucky by Ron Magers and Robert Marcocchio, was a $900,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale. 

The Fountain of Youth is followed by the April 2 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream. Pletcher has trained the winners of the last two Florida Derby winners, Materiality last year and Constitution  in 2014.

Both races offer points on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" to the first four finishers: 50-20-10-5 for the Fountain of Youth and 100-40-20-10 for the Florida Derby.