Fountain of Youth anchors all-stakes Pick 5 play at Gulfstream Park

Profile Picture: James Scully

February 29th, 2020

One of the top ranked contenders for the Kentucky Derby, Dennis’ Moment returns in Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16-mile race sets up as a good prep with plenty of speed in the 12-horse field, which should allow the Dale Romans-trained colt to settle into a favorable stalking position, and I won’t go against the heavy favorite.

His main two rivals, Mucho Macho Again winner Chance It and Holy Bull runner-up Ete Indien, appear compromised by outside posts. Both like to race forward, and Chance It’s connections are considering scratching in favor of next Saturday’s Tampa Bay Derby (G2).

I’m intrigued by a pair of last-out maiden winners, Candy Tycoon and Country Grammer. The latter exits a romping maiden win at Aqueduct for Chad Brown. Candy Tycoon, who was held in high regard for Todd Pletcher last summer, disappointed in his first three dirt outings, but the light bulb seemed to come on when stretching out to two turns with a visually impressive performance last time. The clear runner-up from that race, Gimme Some Mo, would flatter Candy Tycoon by winning the 8TH race on the Fountain of Youth undercard.

I’ll recommend a pair of straight exactas over Candy Tycoon and Country Grammer (5 over 1,8), and single Dennis’ Moment in the all-stakes Pick 5 that concludes with the Fountain of Youth.

Here are my thoughts on the all-stakes Pick 5 sequence:

Race 10 – Davona Dale (G2)

6 Spice Is Nice is the one to beat following a spectacular debut score for Pletcher, netting a field-best 97 Brisnet Speed rating for the 12-length decision. 7 Bayerness caught the eye winning a Churchill Downs allowance in her juvenile finale, registering a 104 Brisnet Late Pace number after displaying incredible acceleration to run down a favorite who wasn’t stopping, and the unbeaten chestnut has upside for Cherie DeVaux.

Race 11 – Canadian Turf (G3)

Many will spread given it’s a 12-horse field with a lukewarm morning-line favorite, but I will single 1 Hay Dakota. Claimed for $45,000 four starts ago, the 7-year-old gelding enters on the upswing for Jason Servis, posting a sharp score over allowance/optional claiming foes last out, and his main rivals are in questionable form. A mile is his best distance, and the Hay Dakota appears to be thriving.

Race 12 – Gulfstream Park Mile (G2)

I like 7 True Timber and 11 Hog Creek Hustle in this competitive field. True Timber adds blinkers and cuts back to the proper trip; his third in the Cigar Mile (G1) two back is good enough to win here. Hog Creek Hustle loves middle distances, turning in big efforts at 7-furlongs and a one-turn mile last season, and his last start at 6-furlongs was a tightener.

2 Haikal, 3 Phat Man, 5 Zenden, 6 Expert, 8 Rare Form, 9 Mr Freeze and 10 Do Share will also be included.

Race 13 – Mac Diarmida (G2)

Consistency has never been a staple for Zulu Alpha, who received a perfect trip winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) and ran a big fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). Perhaps he can string together another top performance, but I will try to beat the heavy favorite.

3 A Thread of Blue is my top pick. The 4-year-old colt showed class over longer distances last year, leading wire-to-wire in the 1 3/16-mile Saratoga Derby, and an affinity for the Gulfstream turf (3-for-4). The pace was too hot in the one-mile Tropical Turf (G3) last time (:22 4/5 and :45 1/5), but circumstances will be completely different Saturday, with A Thread of Blue looking to put his rivals to sleep as the lone speed. Wire to wire.

I will also use 4 Sadler’s Joy, 7 Admission Office, 8 Spooky Channel, and 10 Armistice Day.


6,7 with 1 with 2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 with 3,4,7,8,10 with 5 ($45)