The Fountain of Youth 2024

Nine are scheduled to go to post for The Fountain of Youth on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Two of the scheduled runners, Speak Easy and Merit are also entered in an allowance race on Friday and as of now we don’t know where each will start. That is an important factor to consider as both have some early speed and one or both coming out of The Fountain of Youth will impact the pace.

 

Speak Easy ran a big debut for Todd Pletcher on The Pegasus undercard. It was a fast race, and he stalked a lively pace and finished good in 1:21.96 for 7 furlongs. Victory Avenue who we will get to in a minute ran second after setting that hot pace and though still a maiden he comes back here also. Victory gallop was the “hype” horse that day and Todd’s horse went off at longer odds than well meant fast Pletcher horses usually do. Maybe that is a tell, and maybe it isn’t. We won’t know that until he goes back to the gate. If he opts for this spot, it is a lofty goal and big ask. He should have speed from the rail, but he will have to carry it a mile and a sixteenth around two turns against more seasoned foes.

 

Le Dom Bro is another with speed but looks to be in over his head at the deep end of the pool.

 

Victory Avenue comes from the sharp connections who won The Kentucky Derby with Mage last year and they run this horse back here as a maiden. It is an ambitious spot at this point, but this horse obviously has talent and is fast. He also fought back from the rail when Speak Easy went by him. There is a lot of room for improvement here and if he can sit off horses and rally, he can be dangerous at a much better price than in his debut.

 

Real Macho has the right style for this based on how I see the pace, but he has yet to run two back-to-back good races. He is coming off a win, so it looks like he is likely not run one of his better efforts.

 

Dornoch was flattered by Sierra Leone coming back to win The Risen Star. He is a full brother to last year’s Kentucky Derby winner Mage and has plenty of speed. That said he can also sit a trip which if he does as opposed to gunning he is the one to beat.

 

Merit is also entered in an allowance race Friday. If he goes here, I think he is interesting. He looks like a stalker and again I think that is the right move here. He goes second of the bench for the first time, and I think he can make some noise.

 

Frankie’s Empire is worth a shot in here at a price. He can sit off the pace but not that far off and with the speed in here he should be rallying when it counts. His turf race and muddy track race were his only bad efforts and with question marks around the big names in here maybe we can get this Classic Empire colt home.

 

Locked is a nice horse and a deserving favorite or co-favorite with Dornoch. He has never run a bad race and if this were a mile and an eighth as opposed to a mile and a sixteenth I’d probably land here. I also think Gulfstream plays against his style at this distance. If he is close enough and doesn’t have too much to do he is the likely winner, but with the question marks I’ll go for the price.

 

Dancing Groom looks over his head and a cut below these.

 

I’ll take a shot with Frankie’s Empire who I think fits and should get the right kind of trip. This is a competitive and interesting race with plenty of ways to go. For me, I hope the track is playing fair and the front is contested.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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