Itsaknockout prevails in controversial Fountain of Youth

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

February 22nd, 2015

Saturday’s Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park ended in controversy when 4-5 favorite Upstart was disqualified and placed second behind Itsaknockout after drifting out into that rival passing the sixteenth pole.

After forcing his rival to steady, Upstart drew off to win by 2 3/4 lengths, but the decision was reversed by the stewards and the 50 points of Kentucky Derby eligibility went to Itsaknockout, who paid $12.80 as the 5-1 third choice in a field of eight.

Over a track that was playing unusually slow (the final time for 1 1/16 miles was a pokey 1:46 1/5), neither of the protagonists appeared to be handling the surface particularly well. Upstart rated a bit wide down the backside and was under some pressure around the turn to catch up with second choice Frosted, whom he had beaten handily in the Holy Bull. He finally did so not long after turning for home, but in so doing started to drift out into the oncoming Itsaknockout.

There was some inconsistency with this particular ruling by the Gulfstream stewards compared with others made during the course of the day that did not result in disqualifications. There’s a legitimate case to be made that Itsaknockout was not going to get past the favorite regardless of what occurred.

Upstart was not as impressive this time as he was in the Holy Bull, but appeared to lose little in this unexpected defeat. Itsaknockout, making only his third career start, is still learning the game. He’s by Lemon Drop Kid, a Belmont Stakes winner, and might yet improve with distance.

The disappointment of the race was Frosted, who looked to be moving very comfortably around the far turn while the others appeared to struggle. However, the colt quickly threw in the towel when challenged by Upstart entering the stretch. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said his charge appeared to pull himself and that he would need to go back to the drawing board with him.

The full recap, and more details on Itsaknockout, are available on Itsaknockout elevated to first in Fountain of Youth

(Photo: Adam Coglianese Photography)