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Fountain of Youth Stakes

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Fountain of Youth Stakes Betting

The Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) is a race for 3-year-olds in early March and a Championship Series qualifier on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Run at Gulfstream Park since 1945, the race is currently contested at 1 1/16 miles with a $400,000 purse and the winner earns a spot in the starting gate to the Kentucky Derby.  

Thirteen Fountain of Youth runners later won the Kentucky Derby, and five of them won both races with the most recent Orb (2013). The speed record for the 1 1/16 mile race is 1:41.00 set by Sensitive Prince in 1978.  

Since 2012 when the race switched back to 1 1/16 miles, no winner has been greater than 5-1 odds. However, long shots and huge ones have won the race, as Built for Pleasure paid $288.20 at 143-1 odds in winning the 1996 Fountain of Youth.

Look for horses showing signs of improvement and speed in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream and Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. Some of those runners in those early February races and other allowances races will take a shot in the Fountain of Youth. If you’re trying to identify potential winners that press the pace or stalk the leaders, then pay attention to their final quarter in prep races leading up the Fountain of Youth.  

Other things to look for are leading local trainers like Antonio Sano and the leading trainers at the meet. Currently in 2018 those include Todd Pletcher, Jorge Navarro and Mike Maker. The top trainers have more horses in their barn and may bring some 3-year-olds along slower or without key prep races until March or April. Such was the case with Pletcher and Always Dreaming in 2017, who won an allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs and another allowance at Gulfstream before winning the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby. Gunnevera was 2nd in the Holy Bull before winning the Fountain of Youth in 2017, and Mohaymen was all the rage winning his first five races including the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth in 2016 on his way to the Kentucky Derby. But he never won again in eight starts, so pay attention to training, competition, ability and value when preparing for the races.

Past Fountain of Youth Favorites

2017Gunnevera4-1$10.401:44.25Closer,far back7th
2015Itsaknockout DQ5-1$12.801:46.28Stalking2nd
2014Wildcat Red9-2$11.001:41.85Pressing3rd
2013Orb5-1$12.801:42.24Closer,off pace2nd
2012Union Rags6-5$4.401:42.68Stalking3rd