- What: $400,000 G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes
- Where: Gulfstream Park
- Race: Race 14 Post Time: 6:09 EST/ 3:09 PST
- When: Saturday March 3, 2018
As March Madness quickly approaches, it brings with it the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Only nine weeks after the running of the $400,000 G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes will the Kentucky Derby occur. The much heralded two-year-old champion Good Magic will make his 2018 debut Saturday as the 7-5 morning-line favorite at Gulfstream Park. Good Magic will be making his first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile back in November at Del Mar and currently sits atop all the Derby future pools here in Las Vegas.
Good Magic will be breaking from the 6 hole in a strong field of contenders. Strike Power is the second choice morning line with 4-1 odds and seems to love Gulfstream Park. He has won his only two starts at this track by a combined 11 lengths.
Gulfstream is notoriously kind to dominant frontrunners and therefore pacesetters deserve serious looks and much respect when diving into the Racing Form. Strike Power will likely have a lot of company up front as he most assuredly will be joined by Promises Fulfilled from the far outside and speedster Machismo. Strike Power drew closest to the rail and all the numbers seem to indicate that he should be the first one clear leading them out of the gate in the opening stretch. The one big question is whether he will be able to sustain the added distance as he never has previously raced past seven furlongs. If Strike Power’s talent & breeding can translate to the newly attempted two turns of the FOY, he grades out to be the speed of the speed and thus must be considered a legitimate contender to find the winners circle.
Good Magic makes his first start since closing out his 2-year-old career with a maiden-breaking, eye opening performance in the deep stretch going away by nearly 5 lengths where the ‘Turf Meets the Surf’ back in November. The race I am referencing is his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) score against seasoned, tough stakes competition. As a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin– with oodles of talent and superior tactical speed– his ‘capping number jumps off the page because he has already scored going two turns in a big spot. However, Good Magic is making his first start in four months and faces foes who have been on the shelf much less time and perhaps have a jump on him. Its often difficult for me to back horses at short prices coming off such long layoffs. In addition, how will he handle the Gulfstream surface? He hasn’t had a race over the course prior to the FOY on Saturday. However, if Good Magic brings his A-game fresh off the pine, he will be the one collecting the 50 points towards the Derby field requirement. Chad Brown has been gushing over him since the Breeders’ Cup and the early Kentucky Derby favorite is looking forward to kicking off Magic’s 3-year-old campaign.
All eyes with be on the 2-year-old Champion Good Magic but there are some worthy rivals among this group of ten. As such an expected strong prohibitive favorite, the value of this race of course lies in whether Magic can struggle or not coming off the extended layoff. Storm Runner comes in off a Feb 4th score at Gulfstream that earned him a 111 speed figure and I believe he offers great value at 15-1 as he could get a great trip among the second tier heading for home.
‘Let the Madness Begin’!!! Oh wait, “Down The Stretch They Come”. March, May… does it really matter? It starts on the court with the hopes of cutting down the nets and ends on the track with a Run for the Roses. In between its numerous return trips to cashing windows that we will set our sights on commencing with the Fountain of Youth on Saturday.
- He Takes Charge – 20-1
- Free Drop Billy – 9-2
- Peppered – 30-1
- Strike Power – 4-1
- Storm Runner – 15-1
- Good Magic – 7-5
- Gotta Go – 10-1
- Marconi – 8-1
- Machismo – 15-1
- Promises Fulfilled – 20-1
- #4 Strike Power (4/1)
- #6 Good Magic (7/5)
- #5 Storm Runner (15/1)
- #7 Gotta Go (10/1)
- #10 Promises Fulfilled (20/1)
Exacta Box: 4-6-5-7-10
Trifecta Box: 4-6-5-7
Trifecta P/W Play: 4,6,5 / 4,6,5 / 2,4, 5,6,7,8, 10