Mucciolo’s graded plays on Fountain of Youth Day at Gulfstream
Eight graded races are part of an outstanding 14-race card at Gulfstream Park Saturday, topped by the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) for Kentucky Derby hopefuls. I've taken a look at the action and here are my top choices:
The Very One S. (G3), Race 4:
#3 DARING DUCHESS will be the one to catch and I like her chances in the turf marathon for trainer Mike Maker. Six-year-old daughter of Arch has run a pair of excellent ones on the local lawn this season and looks like the controlling speed.
Palm Beach S. (G3), Race 6:
#7 HAWKISH showed a devastating turn of foot in a maiden win here and while this vault is a big class rise, I am playing the up-and-coming bay gelding. Expecting a fair amount of pace and another powerful closing burst in the second career start.
Herecomesthbride S. (G3), Race 7:
Eight sophomore fillies will travel 1 1/16 miles on the turf in a wide-open affair. #8 MALIBU SAINT recorded a nice win over the course in the Wait a While two back but delivered a flat performance most recently in the Ginger Brew. I like the addition of blinkers from Maker and Malibu Saint is eligible to rebound with a much-improved showing at a big price.
Davona Dale (G2), Race 8:
An octet of three-year-old fillies will go one-mile on the dirt. #2 SUNNY SKIES showed a ton of potential as a juvenile and I think she is well spotted to succeed in her sophomore debut. Kenny McPeek pupil was a dynamic first-out winner, proving that she is capable of firing big off morning works, and the probability of a contested early pace should help her, too.
Canadian Turf (G3), Race 10:
Mile turf test features a well-matched field and I won’t side against the consistently good #1 GALLEON MAST. Course specialist returned from a freshening with a gutsy stakes victory and should only benefit from having one under his belt for David Fawkes.
Gulfstream Park Sprint S. (G3), Race 12:
Eleven will go postward in a 6 ½-furlong dash and #7 NOHOLDINGBACK BEAR gets top billing from this corner. Five-year-old son of Put It Back is a Grade 3 winner with class to him and I love his chances to be a major player inside the final furlong at a big number while running fresh today.
Mac Diarmida S. (G2), Race 13:
Grassy run at 1 3/8 miles draws a dozen and #8 PATTERSON CROSS looks appealing to me. Bill Mott charge has not run in 11 months, but I like how he really elevated his game when stretching out and adding blinkers four starts ago. Five-year-old has enough gate presence to overcome an outside post and secure a sensible voyage before offering another strong finish with Jose Lezcano.
Fountain of Youth (G2), Race 14:
#6 GOOD MAGIC might not be fully cranked up for his seasonal debut but it likely will not matter. Champion son of Curlin is training superbly this campaign according to reports and could get a dream pace scenario to rally into. I imagine this will be a perfect starting point for the current Kentucky Derby leader.