2023 Fountain of Youth Stakes Predictions: Top Five Contenders
The race card at Gulfstream Park this Saturday is loaded with eight graded events, including the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. The prize purse for this race is $400,000, and it covers 1 1/16 miles on dirt.
The Fountain of Youth Stakes is open to three-year old thoroughbred as part of the Kentucky Derby Trail. There are 10 entries in this race, and my top five contenders have morning line odds and percentages to win.
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Currently the early favorite to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby, Forte is making a three-year debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, with Todd Pletcher as his trainer and Irad Ortiz Jr. as his jockey. He won his last three Grade 1 events as a juvenile, starting with a victory in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga on Sept. 5.
Forte won the 2022 Breeders’ Futurity on Oct. 8 before taking first place in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 4. He covered 1 1/16 miles on dirt in 1:43.06 over Cave Rock and National Treasure in the BC Juvenile. Bred in Kentucky, these Grade 1 stakes were at Keeneland.
Odds of Winning: 65%
Blazing Sevens (7-2)
Trained by Chad Brown, he is starting at No. 6 for his race with jockey Joel Rosario. Blazing Sevens is another Kentucky-bred colt starting out his three-year career in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. He finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after winning the nongraded Champagne Stakes at Aqueduct on Oct. 1.
As a son of Good Magic, Blazing Sevens was bred to go over a mile on dirt in a major graded event and he should finish in the money in this race.
Odds of Winning: 10%
General Jim (6-1)
In the 2023 Swale Stakes, General Jim placed first with a time of 1:23.34 over Super Chow and Two of a Kind. He has raced at Saratoga, Keeneland, Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park. Trained by Claude “Shug” McGaughey, he is ridden by jockey Luis Saez out of the No. 1 gate in this race.
General Jim has gone over a mile on turf and won. However, his mixed results on dirt is a sticking point in the Fountain of Youth.
Odds of Winning: 5%
Rocket Can (8-1)
At Gulfstream Park as a three-year-old, Rocket Can won the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on Feb. 4. He has finished first or second in his last three races going back to a 1 1/16-mile Maiden Special Weight race at Churchill Downs on Oct. 30 in 2022. As a sire of Into Mischief, he went more than a mile on dirt in all three races.
Rocket Can is probably not going to win the Fountain of Youth. However, he could place second or third in the standings.
Odds of Winning: 15%
Shadow Dragon (12-1)
The New York-bred colt finished second in the Holy Bull Stakes in the beginning of last month at Gulfstream Park. Also trained by William Mott and ridden by jockey Jose Ortiz, Shadow Dragon has good odds as a longshot in this race. He is starting at the No. 3 gate, and a clean break could result in a top three finish.
Odds of Winning: 5%
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