A11 - Fountain of Youth
March 2, 2018
By Anthony Stabile
Welcome to “Anthony’s Eleven,” your source for anything and everything leading up to Kentucky Derby 144 on May 5th at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In the coming weeks, Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years’ Run for the Roses on VegasInsider.com, culminating on Friday, May 4th with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 4th and May 5th, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year.
Anthony's Eleven (3/2/18)
||San Felipe (3/10 at SA)
||Fountain of Youth (3/3 at GP)
||Gotham (3/10 at AQU)
||Florida Derby (3/31 at GP
||Louisiana Derby (3/24 at FG)
||San Felipe (3/10 at SA)
||D. Wayne Lukas
||Rebel (3/17 at OP)
||Fountain of Youth (3/3 at GP)
||San Felipe (3/10 at SA) or Rebel (3/17 at OP)
The lone points prep on the road to the Kentucky Derby is down at Gulfstream Park this Saturday in the G2 Fountain of Youth at 1 1/16 miles. And it features the return of the Two-Year-Old Eclipse champ, G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile winner, Good Magic.
After finishing second in his debut as the prohibitive favorite going seven furlongs at Saratoga, trainer Chad Brown was inclined to keep moving forward and ran a maiden in the G1 Champagne. Forwardly placed behind a hot pace, Good Magic made the lead in the stretch only to get run down by the far more seasoned, graded stakes winner Firenze Fire. It was such an encouraging effort that Brown did something most felt he wouldn’t and sent this sun of Curlin to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup.
Under Jose Ortiz, good magic was once again prominent throughout, though this time he worked out a much better trip than in the Champagne and a far better one than race favorite Bolt d’Oro. Good Magic exploded off the Del Mar far turn and won by a widening 4 ¼ lengths. He’s trained well for Brown since returning to the worktab in late January and has been installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite from post 6.
Morning-line second choice Strike Power is the real wild card in this renewal of the Fountain of Youth for trainer Mark Hennig and his leading rider at this current Gulfstream Park Championship Meet, Luis Saez.
There is no question Strike Power is fast. He broke his maiden from a rail draw in gate-to-wire fashion by eight-lengths in spectacular fashion before taking the G3 Swale by almost three-lengths using the same tactics but in a far less authoritative fashion. He figures to be the speed in here coming out of those two sprints from post 4 but will obviously be tested for stamina for the first time.
Back in January, trainer Todd Pletcher looked north to the Big Apple and summoned Audible from the cold weather and down to south Florida to run in the G2 Holy Bull. He was rewarded with an impressive daylight score that thrust the New-York bred right into the Derby picture. He’s hoping lightning can strike twice in here with Marconi.
Marconi has made all three of his starts at the nine-furlong distance and will actually be cutting back a sixteenth of a mile in here. After a second-place finish in his debut, Marconi rolled to an easy maiden tally when Pletcher added blinkers before a third-place finish to Avery Island in the G3 Withers. He’ll need to overcome his laziness coming out of the gate if he’s to have any chance over a course that has historically favored speed in a race with a short stretch, first-wire run. Javier Castellano rides from post 8.
Trainer Dale Romans has three entered in this, including Holy Bull runner-up Free Drop Billy, who’ll break from post 2 under Robby Albarado.
Winner of the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last fall, Free Drop Billy won two of his five starts last season and was off the board just once when he finished ninth in the Juvenile. Last out in the Holy Bull, he ranged into contention approaching the turn but was no match for the winner through the lane.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will climb aboard the Romans-trained Promises Fulfilled for his sophomore debut. After a couple of front-end victories in a Churchill maiden race and Keeneland allowance contest to start his career, he tired to be third in what was a strange, front-running ride in the G2 KJC. He may have some trouble getting to the top in here from post 10.
Storm Runner won an entry level allowance/optional claimer most recently for Romans after trying turf in his first start of the year. Last year, he was second in his debut, a dirt sprint for a different barn and broke his maiden in an off-the-turf affair while going winless in a pair of turf tries. Joel Rosario rides from post 5.
Gotta Go had a Titanic-like journey in the G2 KJC at Churchill on Thanksgiving weekend to wrap up a four-start juvenile campaign that included two victories, including one in the Street Sense at Churchill. He made up a good deal of ground to grab place in the Swale behind Strike Power in his sophomore debut for Ian Wilkes. He’ll break from post 7 under regular rider Chris Landeros.
Machismo tries two turns for the first time off of a nearly dozen-length victory in his second start for new trainer Tony Quartarolo. Winless in two starts for Pletcher as a two-year-old, he finished third off of a nearly five-month layoff behind the highly regarded Magnum Moon for his new barn. Albin Jimenez is back in the saddle from post 9.
He Takes Charge breaks from the rail after he broke his maiden last out in his fifth start for trainer Mark Casse over the course and at this trip under Tyler Gaffalione
Peppered makes his seasonal bow for trainer Reade Baker after beating just two in the KJC, his first start over conventional dirt. He made the first three starts of his career, including his maiden win, over the Tapeta surface at Woodbine. Nik Juarez rides from post 3.
Prep Play of the Day
There probably isn’t anything Strike Power can do on Saturday to get him on “Anthony’s Eleven,” but that doesn’t mean he can’t win the Fountain of Youth. I think he will. Let’s play $30 to win on him and make a $10 exacta box with Good Magic. Total cost is $50. Good luck!!!!
Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6PM ET on Wednesday and 3-7PM ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 206 or streaming live at horseracingradio.net. He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as a guest on Talking Horses. Follow him on Twitter @thebigastabile
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