The Fountain Of Youth Stakes (KYD) (Grade 2)- $400.000 Purse
GP- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
February 29, 2020
The story of the Fountain Of Youth so far has been scratches. Soon after the post draw was announced, we have seen three scratch out of the race, moving us into the also eligibles. The three that scratched were scheduled to run out of posts 10, 11, and 12, so it looks like something that was a theme over last prep race season is going to occur again. Don’t like the outside draw? Scratch, and hope for better. It is very hard, though not impossible to win from the outside, but with the need to pick up KYD points to get into this field, several trainers who don’t mind donating the scratch fee to HRP for their post draw, are happy to do it, and I can’t blame them. For those moving in from the also eligibles, that have to consider that they were not going to be a part of the field to begin with, and need to get stake earnings up in order to get into more preps down the road. With the dust settled, we can probably say we know who our 12 horses will be, and it may have emerged as a wide open field. Let’s take a look at it!
#1- Better Back Off (BomBay Stables, ridden by C J Lanerie)- No reason for this one to scratch out due to their post draw, as Better Back Off hopes to make some magic on the rail. The trainer has high hopes, as evidenced by making him one of countless horses that tried, and failed, to break their maiden in a stake. I always mention that when looking at a horse, because the rare ones that might pull it off always get the forum thread, though the ones that don’t, won’t. He did eventually break his maiden conventionally, then finished third in the Withers at the beginning of the month. Now, he gets a big chance to advance his career.
#2- Silent Commander (Serenity Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- The trainer sold his biggest KYD contender, and one that I really like. Now, with some extra money in his pocket, Serenity is hoping that Silent Commander can still fulfill that dream. He did run second in the RP Springboard Mile, which is a tougher race then it seems to get credit for, and he’s never finished worst then second in any of his five starts. Maybe he knew exactly what he was doing, but he’s not ready to say Anoush who? quite yet.
#3- The Mist (Rampage Stable, ridden by J Rosario)- The struggle of meet continues for J Rosario, who as of press time, has only won once in 50 starts here at GP this year. The Mist is a horse I’ve covered a few times now, and still he has yet to really make an impression on me to feel like he his a major contender in this division, and not just a good horse. He has had some tough post draws, though, so don’t write him off quite yet.
#4- Cairn Toul (The Sidley Stud, ridden by J J Castellano)- This is a horse that has been good at finishing second, doing so five times in his nine starts, and that includes his last two races, which were the Grade 3 Grey Stakes, and the Grade 3 Lewis Stakes. He gets close at the wire, so maybe it is just a matter of luck. Has not been worked publicly in 2020, and has only been once since mid-September.
#5- Chai Morning (Aer Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- This PA-bred has proven to be an excellent claim for Aer Stables, who picked him up for $32.000 from Tiratzo, after winning his second career race. After the claim, the trainer started running him long, and increased the level of competition, and has been rewarded for that. May have to show a little more to prove he can win a race like this, but he has never had the chance to run on a dry track at this level, either. Works are great, and he should be a contender here.
#6- Bobbin For Stars (Arindel, ridden by S R Bahen)- It will be the graded debut for this one, even though recent form does not really suggest that he is ready to take on tougher then he has been for his last two races. Additionally, it will also be his second race in fifteen days. He’s been able to win in the past with three of them, but over 11 starts. Only one horse in this field has made more then seven (Cairn Toul, with nine).
#7- Charleys Latte (Estero Farms, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Has the second highest earning total in this field, only Silent Commander has more. A large chunk of that came from his last race, when he won the Grade 3 Withers. That makes him the only horse remaining in this field that has won a prep race so far this season. He is still lightly raced, too, so all the more reason to like him. Working very well coming into this, and has already shown that he can back it up in a race. Much to like, therefore, and he is my pick to win.
#8- Bold Express (Mb Stables, ridden by A Beschizza)- Two of the horses that scratched out of the race were from this trainer, so now Mb Stables will be doing all of his cheering in this race for just Bold Express. He has made just three starts in his career, winning two of them, with the most recent win being the Logan Stakes at SA. If you were thinking, “isn’t that a turf race?”, you would be correct, as Bold Express is also making his debut on the main track here. Tough way to do that, and now he has to do it without any friends in the field!
#9- Moment In Time (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- The furthest to outside of any of the original horses to draw into the field that has not scratched out of it, and this is probably a safe enough post. Moment In Time was last seen at the beginning of the month running second in the Holy Bull, which was a marked improvement over how he fared in the preceding race, the Sham. So, was the Sham just a sham on his record, or is Moment In Time an inconsistent one. This race will make that much clearer.
#10- Groovy- Scratched
#11- Socrates- Scratched
#12- Moline- Scratched
#13- Temple Of Gloom (Fractious, ridden by T Gaffalione)- The first of those to enter in from the also eligibles, Temple Of Gloom is one of a handful who come into the race off of the Withers at the start of the month. For this one, it was a poor performance, and when he woke up the next morning after the race, he paid the price. Now, he will run as a gelding for the first time, and we’ll see what it does for him. More races like the Mucho Macho Man, which he won, is the plan.
#14- Rendezvous (Waldo, ridden by J Bravo)- While several others in here were running in the Withers on February 1st, Rendezvous was breaking his maiden out at HOU. Now, he looks to follow up on that well, and the trainer has big hopes. Those were seen when his name was added to very lengthy list of horses that try running in stakes here before they are ready to, and failed. Now that he is not a maiden, let’s see how much he enjoys winning.
#15- Heretowinthisfight (Night Mare Racing, ridden by M Tunon)- Excited to see one of my favorite trainers (because she has bred many horses of mine I ended up enjoying) running in this kind of race. The name of this horse says it all too, as he is not just showing up here off the also eligibles and starting from this spot. He has a chance, as evidenced by running fourth in the Holy Bull here at the start of the month.