THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
The Fountain of Youth
Kentucky Derby is A historical event, and with it comes a history in sports not even Ponce De Leon would have imagined.
The winner of the Kentucky qualifies to be in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May by participating in Kentucky Derby preps.
These assigned Kentucky Derby preps also have a historical correlation with the Kentucky Derby. This weekend Kentucky Derby prep on the East Cost is the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park
The Fountain of Youth will be run at a Eight and One-Half Furlongs this Saturday, at Gulfstream Park and is the last prep for the Florida Derby.
The 'FOY' is run to the first finish line, in what we refer 'short stretch'. The layout, in our experience, has played to precocious three-year-olds with speed, sprinters stretching out have done very well.
Orb, in 2013, won the Fountain of Youth, the Florida Derby on his way to capturing the Kentucky Derby on a sloppy track. Thunder Gulch in 1995, was the only other horse in last 25 years to pull off the Fountain of Youth to Kentucky Derby double.
The race has been run at different distances, in 2005 through 2008 it was an a Mile and One Eighth, in 2009, Quality Road won the FOY, at one turn mile. The race was back at 9 furlongs in 2010 and 2011, before returning to its original distance at 8 and one half furlongs.
Therefore, the history of the FOY, not only been a bit confusing distance wise, but has been a producer of well supported horses on the first Saturday in May, Gunnevera, Mohaymen, Union Rags, Orb, Scat Daddy. High Fly, Read the Footnotes, Songandaprayer, High Yield since 2000 to name a few.
John Velasquez has won the race four times, in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2013.
The layout of the FOY is much more important in my handicapping than the history in this case. The short stretch races are hard to get behind and support in the Run for the Roses picture, unless you see the winner go on to the Florida Derby or another prep at 9 furlongs and succeed. I am not in favor of short stretch events, they play to speed horses, inside trips, and teach to finish at 16th pole and not the wire.
The FOY can produce an early bird favorite. Last year, the Florida Derby winner was Audible, who won the Holy Bull, and was fresh into Florida Derby. He ran well to be third in the Kentucky Derby. In 2017, Always Dreaming went from allowance winner to Florida Derby victor, 2016, Nyquist came from California to dominate Mohaymen.
Todd Pletcher has won the Florida Derby 4 of the last 5 years, but he has only won the FOY once, since it moved back to 8 and one-half furlongs in 2012, and that was by DQ in 2015.
Ponce De Leon didn't find his Fountain of Youth, maybe one of the colts this Saturday will on the first Saturday in May.WiththeWorks Tips and Tricks
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WiththeWorks Quick tip: Our team works the company names are in ALL CAPS
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Another way to stay on top of the Kentucky Derby and its preps.