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.
B.B. Best, most recently fourth in Gulfstream Park's $250,000 Sunshine Millions Ocala Stud Dash Jan. 29, worked one mile handily in 1:44 4/5 at Calder Race Course Friday and is being pointed for the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream March 5.
Gulfstream Park's reshuffled schedule of 3-year-old races gets its first test in the Feb. 5 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) when Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls are required to stretch out for the first of three 1 1/8-mile stakes.
Aventura Stakes winner High Fly will take the next step in the Florida Derby series Saturday by racing in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Bill White confirmed that news after the colt's latest workout Sunday morning.
HorseRacing TV announced Dec. 29 that it will kickoff its exclusive coverage of the Gulfstream Park's winter meeting on opening day, Monday, Jan. 3. The 86-day meeting will begin with a first post time of 12:45 p.m. EDT on that day and continues through Sunday, April 24.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- In Florida for a few days this past winter, Gulfstream Park was an obvious place to spend a couple of hours. Keeping in mind Florida is a leading retirement center, it was no surprise that the average age of the patrons at the track that day was similar to that necessary to receive a "Here's Your Medicaid Card" welcome.
Klaravich Stables' Read the Footnotes, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), turned in his main workout for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) when he breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Palm Meadows in Florida on Wednesday.
Owner and breeder Oscar Novo has moved stakes winner Sir Oscar to Marty Wolfson's barn. The colt is still on target for the Florida Derby (gr. I).
Second of June, a game runner-up in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) suffered a condylar fracture of the cannon bone, and was scheduled to undergo Sunday afternoon surgery at Dr. Stephen Selway's clinic near Gulfstream Park.
Future wager odds on both Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Read the Footnotes and runner-up Second of June for the May 1 Kentucky Derby dropped significantly following the Gulfstream Park prep race Saturday.
Read the Footnotes, winner of the Nashua (gr. III) and Remsen Stakes (gr. II), makes his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), where he takes on Calder-based stakes horses Second of June, Silver Wagon, Sir Oscar, and Broadway View.
Remsen Stakes winner Read the Footnotes will launch his 2004 3-year-old campaign in Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, fresh off 10 weeks rest and fast workouts for trainer Richard Violette.
Undefeated Sir Oscar and his recent workout partner Weigelia will give trainer Manny Azpurua a busy Saturday when he saddles the former in the Fountain of Youth and the latter in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III).
Silver Wagon, who missed some training last week due to a foot bruise, returned to the track in fine form Monday, working a strong mile in 1:41 4/5 at Calder Race Course.
Frisky Spider's seven-furlong workout in preparation for Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park had trainer Bob Durso excited Sunday morning.
Undefeated 3-year-old Sir Oscar worked seven furlongs in 1:28 3/5 for trainer Manny Azpuria Friday morning at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Bob Durso said he will start his undefeated Frisky Spider in either the Hutcheson or the Fountain of Youth, while Nick Zito is considering those races and allowances for Birdstone, Eurosilver, and The Cliff's Edge.
Remsen (gr. II) and Nashua Stakes (gr. III) winner Read the Footnotes, progressing toward the $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 14, continues to post quick workouts for trainer Richard Violette.
The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association released Tuesday its listing of U.S. graded stakes for 2004, the results of its annual grading session conducted Nov. 24 in Lexington, Ky. The committee reviewed 759 unrestricted U.S. stakes races with a purse of at least $75,000, and assigned graded status to 480 of them, seven less than were graded in 2003.
Senor Swinger worked five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 on Monday and is on target for the Florida Derby...Offlee Wild suffering from a bacterial infection...Whywhywhy slated for Swale Stakes.
Nine 3-year-olds were entered for Saturday's $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I), Gulfstream Park's traditional send off on the road to the Triple Crown.
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens said he won't try Spite the Devil in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I).
Overbrook Farm's Ozzie Cat and Robert and Beverly Lewis' Scrimshaw made the trip from California and both arrived safely and are bedded down with the other horses in Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas‚ barn at Gulfstream Park.
Offlee Wild completed preparations for Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) with a lightning-quick five-furlong drill in :57.40 on a fast Gulfstream Park main track Wednesday.
Undefeated Indy Dancer, who has won both his career starts, will make his stakes debut in Sunday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds instead of the Fountain of Youth, trainer Todd Pletcher said.
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Ten Cents A Shine worked Monday morning in preparation for Saturday's $200,000, grade I Fountain of Youth Stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park in Florida.
Trust N Luck, one of the leading candidates for the Feb. 15 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I), worked between races at Gulfstream on Wednesday.
Whywhywhy, 10th as the 5-2 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), had his first breeze Friday morning at Santa Anita since that Oct. 26 race at Arlington Park.
Daniel Borislow's Toccet, a contender for an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male of 2002, will make his 3-year-old debut in Gulfstream Park's Fountain of Youth (gr. I) on Feb. 15.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has unveiled an expanded, nine-show "CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series for 2003.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- With racing broadcasts taking a backseat to other sports on ESPN, producers should be prepared for an altered time period.
Each week, we will discuss the horses running in 3-year-old stakes who we feel will give you a run for your money at a good price, and some who might be worth watching in the weeks to come.
The blurry Kentucky Derby picture should begin clearing up Saturday, as a number of Triple Crown hopefuls meet to determine who makes that all-important leap forward. The grade I Fountain of Youth Stakes, which drew a field of eight, is split right down the middle, with four stakes winners facing off against four up-and-coming stars. And in supporting allowance races, two promising colts lock horns in a prep for the Florida Derby, and a former Coolmore colt makes his U.S. debut.
The "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," series of nine shows on the ESPN networks kicks off Saturday with the grade I Fountain of Youth Stakes from Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth will be shown on tape delay on ESPN from 6-6:30 p.m. (ET).
From Gulfstream Park:
Kinsman Stable's Blue Burner breezed three furlongs in :38 at Payson Park Feb. 12 in a final blowout for Saturday's grade 1 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.
Harlan's Holiday turned in another sharp work for Saturday's grade I Fountain of Youth Stakes, drilling a half in :47 1/5 Wednesday with jockey Tony D'Amico aboard. In other Fountain of Youth developments, Elliott Walden has decided run Speed Hunter, and Shug McGaughey will run only Maybry's Boy, who worked a half Wednesday in :48 3/5.
Trainer Elliott Walden will run Frank L. Mansell's Speed Hunter in Saturday's grade 1 Fountain of Youth, after being undecided earlier this week. What made him decide?
Trainer Ken McPeek had Harlan's Holiday on the track for a half-mile workout Feb. 12 and was more than pleased with the stakes-winning juvenile colt's move. Harlan's Holiday was ridden by jockey Tony D'Amico and was clocked in :47 2/5 handily. He runs Saturday in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I).
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