Just One Filly, But a Good One, in The Fountain Of Youth

The Fountain Of Youth Stakes (KYD) (Grade 2)- $400.000 Purse
GP- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
March 5, 2022

The calendar has flipped over to March, making just two months until the KYD and likely just two more chances (perhaps three if someone needs to push it) to get points for the big race. This is a big weekend, with three major prep races taking place, and here we will look at the $400.000 Fountain Of Youth from GP. It is a race that has been won in the past by Niagra and Model American, and recently by Chai Morning in 2020, who went on to win the PRK later that year. Last year, the race was won by Proud Crown and Mb Stables. It often gets said that a race like this is “win and you’re in”, but Proud Crown would not make it to the KYD, likely a victim of the numbers of qualified entries for his trainer. He is still active but not running where he used to be in any way. One of the recent storylines in the KYD chase is the amount of fillies being entered into prep races, which in turn is leading to a handful of them being won by fillies. In the Fountain Of Youth, this is less of a story, because only one filly is entered. Not to say she can’t win, because she very well might, but the field is predominantly colts and geldings. Let’s take a look at them!

#1- Gigabyte (Smokey Stover, ridden by J R Velazquez)- The gelding has been running as large as his name recently, winning the LA Futurity in December, and then placing second in his return to the track after two months, in the Grade 3 Withers. Those results give him 16 points and put him eighth on the leaderboard. In these races, he has shown the ability to run well with different styles, coming from off the pace or near the front early on. This is not a horse you want to look past here.

#2- Burnsuwhenitshot (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by D Davis)- Showed plenty of promise at the end of 2021 with two victories, including the $75.000 Gold Rush at GG. This year, he is yet to make an impact on the KYD trail, finishing eighth in the Smarty Jones then fifth in the Grade 2 San Vicente. His wins last year saw him run near the front early, and it is a tactic we have not seen thus far this year.

#3- Mr Nix Nooks (Martyparty, ridden by C J Hernandez)- Despite not having “Party” anywhere in his name, this is a Martyparty homebred. He is also another horse who closed out 2021 with two victories, but he was able to get one of them in the $150.000 Grey Stakes. Following that, he went to FG and had a steady race, placing third. This all gives him 2 KYD points, but he is the type of horse that you can see making a big push forward. Should be seen as a good contender here.

#4- Fifty Lucky (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by M Franco)- Over Thanksgiving weekend, Fifty Lucky ran second in the Grade 2 KY Jockey Club, finding himself a tight photo with the winner. The result got him four points for the KYD, but he has not been able to pick up any more. Most recently, he fizzled late in the stretch of the San Vicente and could only manage a sixth place finish. Works are good, so he could bounce back well.

#5- Puissance de La Mer (Big Guns Stables, ridden by M E Smith)- Jumping up into stake competition after picking up wins in each of his two starts. This will be the first time that he races in 2022 as well as being the first time he races on the main track. A good looking work in mid January gave optimism, but despite that, he has been on the shelf until now. Tough assignment after a layoff.

#6- Sunshine Scooter (Broken Spoke Stables, ridden by E S Prado)- Last month, this Chai Latte colt ran here in the Holy Bull, and managed to finish third, giving him his two points on the KYD leaderboard. Otherwise, he has two wins in his five career starts, doing well here in the Sunshine State. Plenty of potential for him to follow up the Holy Bull well but could be a name lost in the shuffle of a strong field. Don’t rule him out.

#7- Rogue Commando (Mb Stables, ridden by L Saez)- A horse that was very successful for prior trainer EasyMoney Stables, with four wins in seven starts, but he was never entered in any real big races. Mb Stables would pick him up in private sales for $150.000 at the beginning of January, and gave him a shot against the best, and he was rewarded with a second place finish in the San Vicente. Looks to build on that but might need to win given the loaded barn he is in.

#8- Ideal Info (Arindel, ridden by A Cedillo)- At the present time, Arindel has one horse in the top 20, so he is not matching Mb Stables in this as well as he is in the KYO hunt. He has plenty of good horses that may rise up, and you just have the feeling that at least one, and probably more will do exactly that. Ideal Info, making his stake debut, could be one that bursts onto the scene. He has two wins in three starts, and a sharp looking work at FG from Twosday. This is your horse if you are looking to go outside the box a little bit (won’t be a longshot though).

#9- Cheveley Park (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by T Gaffalione)- In the middle of December, he picked up a win in the $100.000 LCD Juvenile. However, the trainer has not had much of anything to be excited about with him since then. His two starts in preps in 2022 have been disappointing, especially the Withers. Perhaps, a tactical change is in order, but he is a little hard to be excited about here.

#10- Humble And Forgiving (Mb Stables, ridden by Ru Silvera)- This is a maiden that has not been within two lengths of the winner in any of his three starts. Why is he here then? February 21st. On that day up at AQU he put together a blistering work, one that none of the rivals here can say they have beaten. Mb thinks highly of him, as evidenced by the $250.000 tag to get him, and he’s in the right barn if he is going to turn it around. Can he translate February 21st to the Fountain Of Youth?

#11- Effrayant (RNP Stables, ridden by J C Ferrer)- Last September, this Creepy Time gelding won on debut at MNR, but has not been able to return to the winners circle. Raced often at PRX in allowances, and was competitive enough in them to give the trainer confidence to run him in the Davis Stakes. He was seventh there, but only missed by a length as he broke from post eleven there as well.

#12- Present Tense (Mb Stables, ridden by Ru Gonzalez)- We saved the race’s lone filly for last. She’s not just any filly, either, but has been very successful up to this point. Appeared in the BC Juvenile Fillies last fall, and ran sixth. Following that, she remained running against her gender and was the runner up in the Starlet, a Grade 1. That prompted Mb to run her in the Holy Bull, where she used the much talked about weight allowance to her advantage to win. She will be trying to do that again, meeting some familiar foes. I see her hitting the board, but don’t think it will be a win.

Prediction: 1-12-8-3

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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