Commissioner and Top Billing, who fought out the finish of a key allowance race at Gulfstream Park on January 3, renew rivalry while making their stakes debut in Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth — this time with significant Kentucky Derby points on the line. The first race on the “Kentucky Derby Championship Series” of preps, the Fountain of Youth offers 50 points to the winner, 20 to second, 10 to third, and 5 to the fourth-place finisher.
The 1 1/16-mile contest serves as the middle leg of Gulfstream’s two-turn graded stakes for Triple Crown aspirants, bookended by the January 25 Holy Bull and the March 29 Florida Derby. The top three from the Holy Bull are all swerving the Fountain of Youth. Convincing winner Cairo Prince and closing runner-up Conquest Titan are both training up to the Florida Derby, while third-placer Intense Holiday is shipping to Fair Grounds for Saturday’s Risen Star instead.
But Commissioner and Top Billing will face 11 others with stakes experience, including Breeders’ Futurity winner We Miss Artie; Holy Bull also-rans Almost Famous, Best Plan Yet and Our Caravan; the respective top three from the Gulfstream Park Derby, General a Rod, Wildcat Red (who came back to dominate the Hutcheson) and East Hall; C. Zee, runner-up in both the Spectacular Bid and Hutcheson; Casiguapo, second in last year’s Hopeful and Delta Jackpot; and the Dale Romans duo of Medal Count and Hesinfront.
Earlier on Saturday, the 6th race also promises to have Florida Derby implications. Contested over the same 1 1/16-mile distance as the Fountain of Youth, the entry-level allowance has attracted hot debut maiden winners Matterhorn and Constitution from the Pletcher barn; Remsen third Wicked Strong, who seeks to rebound from his ninth in the Holy Bull; Team Valor International’s Mexikoma, a better-than-appears sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; and the Christophe Clement-trained Tonalist.
2014 G2 $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes Information
Date: Saturday, February 22
Where: Gulfstream Park, Florida
Post Time: 5:33 p.m. ET/2:33 p.m. PT
Distance: 1 1/16 Mile Dirt
Conditions: FOR THREE YEAR OLDS
Fountain of Youth wagering may include:
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Field and odds for the G2 $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes – Click here for FREE Fountian of Youth PP’s
|1||Commissioner||3 C||L||116||Velazquez John R.||Pletcher Todd A.|
|2||We Miss Artie||3 C||L||122||Bravo Joe||Pletcher Todd A.|
|3||Medal Count||3 C||L||116||Rocco, Jr. Joseph||Romans Dale L.|
|4||Wildcat Red||3 C||L||120||Saez Luis||Garoffalo Jose|
|5||General A Rod||3 C||L||120||Castellano Javier||Maker Michael J.|
|6||Casiguapo||3 C||L o||116||Lezcano Jose||Morales Mario|
|7||C. Zee||3 C||L||116||Zayas Edgard J.||Gold Stanley I.|
|8||Almost Famous||3 C||L||116||Borel Calvin H.||Byrne Patrick B.|
|9||Best Plan Yet||3 C||L||120||Lopez Paco||Gold Stanley I.|
|10||Our Caravan||3 C||L||116||Lanerie Corey J.||Dilger Michael|
|11||Hesinfront||3 C||L||116||Jaen Abdiel||Romans Dale L.|
|12||Top Billing||3 C||L||116||Rosario Joel||McGaughey III Claude R.|
|13||East Hall||3 G||L||116||Leyva Juan C.||Kaplan William A.|