HRTV's weekly series analyzing the pursuit of the Triple Crown. This week's episode includes recaps of the Fountain of Youth and Sham, a focus on Stardom Bound - comparing her to Winning Colors, a look at the Kentucky Derby Challenge Stakes, and a preview of the Gotham.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Foals from the first Elusive Quality crop conceived after Smarty Jones's heroics have come to hand earlier. Even though they've only just turned 3, five of their number are stakes winners. Prominent among them is Fountain of Youth winner Quality Road.
The last Saturday in November is NYRA's farewell to grade I and grade II racing, with the running of the Cigar Mile (gr. I) and the grade II Remsen and Demoiselle Stakes for 2-year-olds. But last year, there was a buzz in the air that had nothing to do with any of those three races.
Despite making just the third start of his career and facing stakes company for the first time, Edward Evans' homebred Quality Road romped to a resounding 4 1/4-length victory in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, offers Fountain of Youth Analysis and Selections.
Tom and Evan analyze the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (gr. II) at Gulfstream on February 28. The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Race 8 at Fair Grounds on Saturday.
Our core premise in the one-mile, grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes is that if Notonthesamepage breaks well, he's going to shoot for the lead, and almost all the others will struggle to, well, stay on the same page with him. The question thus becomes whether there's anything in the race that will overtake him.
A deep and talented field has been entered for the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II),and when the dust finally settles on the Gulfstream Park oval Feb. 28, the still muddled Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) picture should become a little bit clearer.
Harold Queen's 3-year-old Florida homebred Big Drama breezed an easy half-mile in :50-flat Feb. 22 at Calder, his first workout since Jan. 18 as the colt's training schedule was interrupted by a bone bruise that required surgery after kicking himself in a shin in his stall.
Fasig-Tipton is teaming with Gulfstream Park to sponsor the $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). The 63rd running of the race, which will called the "Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes," is scheduled for Feb. 28 in South Florida. The Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training will be held March 3.
Gulfstream Park is hoping that a move to a five-day race week will help produce larger fields and attract more live fans and other bettors on days that have proven more popular than its newly-dark Mondays.
Prepping for a run in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Zayat Stables' Z Humor worked four furlongs in :47.50 at Churchill Downs April 17.
Robert LaPenta's Cool Coal Man, a major contender for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), prepped for a planned run in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland with a sharp half-mile work at Churchill Downs April 3.
Adriano gave trainer Graham Motion plenty to think about with an impressive win in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park March 22.
In his first workout since his strong runner-up performance in the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 29, Robert Evans's Elysium Fields posted a half-mile breeze March 6 at Gulfstream Park.
The fractions and final time for the Feb. 24 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) have been adjusted, with Gulfstream Park's official final time for the 1 1/8-mile race now to be listed as 1:50.07.
There's just no escaping it. You can question his pedigree and his running style all you want, but War Pass is simply in a class by himself right now, and until someone figures out how to beat him or his pedigree catches up to him, he has to be the top dog.
Cool Coal Man took over at the top of the stretch and then held off a stubborn Elysium Fields by a half-length to take the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
The old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times," ably describes the many odd goings-on in Sunday's running of the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes. While there is intent and purpose to everything we're seeing, and there is nothing new under the sun, this race has some odd features.
A star-studded field of 12 3-year-olds, highlighted by a pair of starters for trainers Bill Mott and Nick Zito, will contest the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
Four runners trained by Nick Zito, all potential contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), lead the list of 52 3-year-olds nominated for the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 24.
The strangest thing happened while in Florida this past week. I came upon a crystal ball that amazingly revealed the winners of all the major Derby preps this year, although some images were clearer than others. To obtain this privileged information, just continue reading.
With three major Triple Crown prep races run over the March 3-4 weekend, the respective winners were elevated in the rankings of TC nominees based on earnings in graded stakes races.
Scat Daddy, somewhat overlooked in trainer Todd Pletcher's rich stable for this year's Triple Crown trail, stormed from far back to tag the tough-luck loser Stormello by a nose in the final stride of Saturday's $350,000 Fountain of Youth (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
The trip from California to South Florida behind him, Alvin Eisman and Bill Currin's Stormello tried the Gulfstream Park main track Friday morning for the first time ahead of his challenge in Saturday's $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).
In one of the best weekend's for 3-year-olds seen in quite a while, racing fans in Florida and Southern California will be treated to an array of top-class 3-year-olds and a number of budding stars in allowance and maiden races.
The colt's workouts have been picture-perfect, he's drawn post 5, and Barclay Tagg is, dare I say it, confident. Nobiz Like Shobiz is all set to win the Fountain of Youth Stakes.
It will be a rematch of sorts in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) when the top three finishers of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III)-- Nobiz Like Shobiz, Drums of Thunder, and Scat Daddy-- return to the starting gate March 3 for the $350,000 race going 1 1/8 mile at Gulfstream Park.
With several major prep races for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) rapidly approaching this weekend, three prominent trainers discussed Tuesday how their contenders are progressing toward their next start and the first Saturday in May.
Bill Currin will put Stormello on a FedEx flight early Wednesday morning that will take his 3-year-old colt from Southern California to Florida for Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes.
Nobiz Like Shobiz, Great Hunter, Stormello, and Scat Daddy will get most of the headlines in the Fountain of Youth and Robert B. Lewis Stakes (both gr. II), but there is undiscovered talent just waiting to take the Derby trail by storm, including a couple trained by two familiar names
Ol' Memorial Stable and Ed Glasscock's 3-year-old Buffalo Man was diagnosed with an ankle injury Sunday morning that will preclude any hopes of staying on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Bisnalth Parbod's 3-year-old colt Johannesburg Star worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for his longshot bid in Saturday's $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).
The 3-year-old stakes schedule will take on a slightly different look in 2007, due mostly to the return of Fair Grounds and several changes to the Gulfstream Park stakes structure, which will again run the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) five weeks before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Lael Stable's undefeated 3-year-old Barbaro, the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) winner who bypassed Saturday's Fountain of Youth (gr. II) in favor of a next start in the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 1, was in action Saturday morning at Palm Meadows, working five furlongs in 1:01 3/5.
Though beaten in his first try at two turns, the 3-5 favorite First Samurai was awarded victory in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth (gr. II) Saturday at Gulfstream Park when stewards disqualified the inexperienced Corinthian for weaving in the stretch.
This race has it all. Worthy past performances. Terrific workout lines. High profile, solid connections. Quality breeding. From a handicapping perspective, there is good reason to swing for extra bases here, not just a single. From a talent perspective, there are several in here with a legitimate chance to win. Therefore, we can't go with the one who's getting the most attention, First Samurai, to win the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).
First Samurai can answer the question of his distance capability and establish himself as the leading contender in Florida for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a winning performance in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Lawyer Ron took another step forward with his victory in Saturday's Southwest Stakes, extending his winning streak to four. But he still left a major question unanswered. Despite the lack of stakes action last week, there were several horses around the country who stepped up and made people take notice.
Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III's 3-year-old First Samurai worked a mile in a strong 1:37 3/5 Friday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr.II) going 1 1/8 miles a week from tomorrow.
In his first workout since finishing second in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 4, Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III's 3-year-old First Samurai drilled five furlongs in :59 2/5 Thursday morning at Gulfstream Park.
Bea Oxenberg and Laurie Plesa's B. B. Best, third in Gulfstream's March 5 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and one of the leading candidates for Gulfstream's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2, will probably get one last work March 26 in preparation for the showcase event of the season one week later.
Beverly Green's Dearest Mon, a promising 3-year-old son of Maria's Mon, was a late scratch out of Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) because of his outside post.
Making his first start for trainer Nick Zito, High Fly rebounded from a third-place finish in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) to win Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Defer will face a two-turn test against a field of 10 other sophomores entered in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, the final major prep for the $ 1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2.
Owner-breeder Dan Borislow has purchased the 3-year-old colt Wild Desert from the partnership of Sarah-Lyn Stables and Carl Gessler Jr.
Nick Zito is licking his chops after last weekend's impressive victories by Sun King and Andromeda's Hero. Now, he tries to put the finishing touches on his four-horse feast when he saddles High Fly in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Noble Causeway in an allowance race. All indications are that Zito will be flying high once again.
Dearest Mon, the highly regarded sophomore owned by Beverly Green and trained by Rick Violette Jr., worked four furlongs handily at Palm Meadows Feb. 28 in :48.60 in preparation for Saturday's $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes, one of five grade II events on tap for the Spectacular Saturday III program at Gulfstream Park.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod's Sweet Catomine, last year's juvenile filly champ, has been nominated to the March 5 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), and could run in the nine-furlong race at Florida's Gulfstream Park if the bad weather in Southern California hampers her training, trainer Julio Canani said Friday.
Philip and Marcia Cohen's Closing Argument, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 5, "worked great" at Palm Meadows Monday morning, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, speaking shortly after the half-mile move.
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