Commissioner, a winner of two races from three lifetime starts for trainer Todd Pletcher, looks to take another step towards the 2014 Kentucky Derby in Saturday's Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park. (post time: 5:33pm Eastern; TV: HRTV) The Fountain of Youth is part of the second phase of the official Road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby, with the winner of the race earning 50 points towards at spot in the starting at at Churchill Downs. Saturday's Gulfstream Park card will also feature the G2-Davona Dale for three-year-old fillies, and the G3-Canadian Turf for older horses at one mile on the lawn.
A son of A.P. Indy out of a Touch Gold mare (Flaming Heart), Commissioner began his career at Monmouth Park last August where he finished second by over eight lengths while going a mile against Maiden Special Weight company. He stretched out to nine furlongs in his next start at Saratoga and broke through with a head victory after settling mid-pack through the first half mile. After a lengthy trip to the sidelines, Commissioner made his three-year-old debut at Gulfstream on January 3rd where he promptly won an OC $75k/N1X event over Top Bling with a strong late stretch move.
Joining Commissioner in the Fountain of Youth are twelve challengers, including:
We Miss Artie: Second in the Kitten's Joy on the lawn last time out but winner of the G1-Breeders' Futurity over the Keeneland Polytrack back on October 5th. He's yet to win on dirt.
Medal Count: Finished a disappointing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile but rebounded to score versus optional claimers at Gulfstream last time out at 7 ½ furlongs on the lawn.
Wildcat Red: Winner of the G3-Hutcheson at seven panels in his most recent start, as well as a winner in three prior races at Gulfstream. His lifetime record at GP is a sterling 5-4-2-0. One the downside, he's yet to run in a race longer than a mile.
General a Rod: Winner of the one mile Gulfstream Park Derby back on New Year's Day, General a Rod broke his maiden on the Poly at Keeneland before making the trip down to Florida where's he run well in two starts. A son of Roman Ruler out of a Dynaformer mare (Dynamite Eyes), General a Rod might relish a bit more ground under his legs.
Casiguapo: Broke his maiden at Calder last July but hasn't found the winner's circle in four tries since that day. He was a distant second to Rise Up in the G3-Delta Jackpot, which explains the almost $290,000 in career earnings he's been able to collect in just six lifetime starts.
C. Zee: Second to Wildcat Red in the Hutcheson, the Fountain of Youth will be C. Zee's first attempt at a race beyond seven furlongs.
Almost Famous: Contested the pace in the G2-Holy Bull, and briefly led the field on the far turn, before tiring badly in the stretch and finishing a non-threatening seven lengths behind the classy Cairo Prince.
Best Plan Yet: Fifth in the G2-Holy Bull in late January, Best Plan Yet has fared poorly in his last two starts after a good run of top two finishes in five consecutive races.
Our Caravan: An impressive maiden breaker at a mile and a sixteenth back on December 14th, Our Caravan didn't fire at all in the Holy Bull and finished eight of eleven.
Hesinfront: Broke his maiden on the lawn at Churchill Down last fall but has failed to figure in the outcome of his next two starts, including a try in the G3-Dania Beach at Gulfstream back on December 21st. His only dirt race (an OC75k/N1X at GP on 1/25) saw him fade in the stretch after briefly pressing the pace in through the first half mile.
Top Billing: Lost by a neck to Commissioner in that allowance/optional claiming event at Gulfstream back on January 3rd before bouncing back to score at the same level at 8.5 furlongs on January 25th. Top Billing is one of the few dead-red closers in the field.
East Hall: A gelding with already 10 career starts under his belt, East Hall sports a single maiden win on his resume in terms of actually finishing first at the wire (he was placed 1st through a DQ in an allowance race at Gulfstream last September).
Below are the entries and post positions for Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes. Morning line odds will be added when released.
|1||Commissioner||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher||3/1|
|2||We Miss Artie||J. Bravo||T. Pletcher||8/1|
|3||Medal Count||J. Rocco, Jr.||D. Romans||15/1|
|4||Wildcat Red||L. Saez||J. Garoffalo||6/1|
|5||General a Rod||J. Castellano||M. Maker||5/1|
|7||C. Zee||E. Zayas||S. Gold||12/1|
|8||Almost Famous||C. Borel||P. Byrne||10/1|
|9||Best Plan Yet||P. Lopez||S. Gold||20/1|
|10||Our Caravan||C. Lanerie||M. Dilger||30/1|
|11||Hesinfront||A. Jaen||D. Romans||20/1|
|12||Top Billling||J. Rosario||S. McGaughey||7/2|
|13||East Hall||J. Leyva||W. Kaplan||20/1|