Picnic on the green
Back to Gulfstream Park in Florida where we will have the first major stakes race since the Holy Bull Stakes was won impressively by the Nick Zito trained Dialed In. Fountain of Youth winners can be big time contenders on the trail. The last 2 went on to be the Kentucky Derby favorites with Quality Road and Eskendereya. Unfortunately, neither one of them actually ran in the KYD and instead were scratched Derby week due to different types of foot/leg injuries.
Even with Dialed In choosing to skip the Fountain of Youth, the field coming up is very tough. The noisemakers include To Honor and Serve, Soldat, Gourmet Dinner, Casper’s Touch and Shackleford. It will be interesting to see how Soldat adapts to his first fast track (essentially dry dirt) as he has mainly run on turf and off-tracks (wet to sloppy). These are definitely two races to follow closely due to the talent that has passed through them. Generally, the Hutcheson does not produce as many Derby starters because the short distance is not an ideal setup for the longer distances that follow. But since it is an important prep race, it must be covered.
Hutcheson | GII $150,000 Purse | 7 Furlongs | 3 yr olds | Race 9, 4:52 p.m.
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1 Crossbow (KY), R A Dominguez, 116, K P McLaughlin 5-1
2 Madman Diaries (FL), J Sanchez, 120, W A Ward 6-1
3 Travelin Man (KY), J R Velazquez, 116, T A Pletcher 5-2
4 Razmataz (KY), J Castellano, 116, T A Pletcher 10-1
5 Flashpoint (FL), C H Velasquez, 116, R E Dutrow, Jr. 4-1
6 Little Drama (FL), J Bravo, 120 D Fawkes 20-1
7 Leave of Absence (FL), R Maragh, 116, R A Violette Jr. 12-1
8 Black N Beauty (ON), K J Desormeaux, 116, D L Romans 8-1
9 Manicero (FL), L Saez, 120, L Azpurua Jr. 12-1
10 Royal Currier (FL), E Trujillo, 118, P Farro 8-1
Fountain of Youth | GI $400,000 Purse | 1 1/8 Miles | 3 yr olds | Race 10, 5:25 p.m
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Soldat (KY), A Garcia, 120, K P McLaughlin 2-1
2. Gourmet Dinner (FL), R A Dominguez, 120, S W Standridge 5-1
3. El Grayling (KY), R Maragh, 116, M J Maker 15-1
4. Casper’s Touch (KY), A O Solis, 116, K G McPeek 6-1
5. Bowman’s Causeway (ON), J R Leparoux, 116, P L Biancone 20-1
6. Racing Aptitude (FL), 3/C J Lezcano, 120, H M Tesher 30-1
7. To Honor and Serve (KY), J R Velazquez, 122, W I Mott 8-5
8. Shackleford (KY), J L Castanon, 116, D L Romans 8-1
As a side note, the Fountain of Youth was won by the MC Hammer owned and aptly named colt Dance Floor in ’92. And this was not Stanley Burrell but Hammertime who had finished era changing songs like U Can’t Touch This and Too Legit Too Quit. So for the Hammer let’s………Break it down
Hutcheson – Speed, speed and more speed. It is pretty much the opposite of the Sam F. Davis Stakes. With the exception of Leave of Absence, it is tough to see who will not be right on the lead. I expect for the talented Crossbow to get out of the gate as quickly as possible and be followed closely by Madman Diaries and Travelin Man. However, at the top of the stretch, I think that we will be looking at Travelin Man, Black N Beauty and Royal Currier. Leave of Absence and Manicero should be coming strong from off the pace and I think one will catch Travelin Man at the line. Exacta: 3,7,9 and 9 for the win
Fountain of Youth – I think that it may be a race or two before we see the best from To Honor and Serve. Bill Mott likes a race to shoot for and this is definitely not that race. I expect To Honor and Serve to challenge but importantly prep and get primed for the Florida Derby. Even with a lot of early speed, I think we saw something special from Soldat his last time out on a wet track. If he can get out and keep the pace moderate, I think that everyone else will be running for 2nd. Of the other challengers I expect U Can’t Casper’s Touch this, Bowman’s Causeway and Gourmet Dinner (may be a little too long for his best late kick) to be in the mix. Exacta: 1,4,7 and the 1 for the win. Live Longshot: Bowman’s Causeway at 20-1. He ran great last time out and could get an earlier jump on Gourmet Dinner and Casper’s Touch.
It feels no good, when you’re down
Super old boy, betting from A-Town
Final note: The 3rd race at Gulfstream on Saturday (Allowance Race) has a few potential Florida Derby runners with the cleverly named Nacho Business, Cool Blue Red Hot, Arch Traveler and Washington’s Rules (was high on before Brethren drew off big in the Sam F. Davis) Nacho Business…….would be a great name to repeat over and over and over again on May 7th. Plus, he beat our live longshot in his last race.