By Emily Shields
The last race on a lengthy 14-race card at Gulfstream Park on February 29 is the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) for horses pointing to the 2020 Kentucky Derby. The Fountain of Youth, a Derby points race, drew 12 runners to go the 1 1/16-mile distance.
This race marks the return of leading Derby contender Dennis’ Moment, a $400,000 son of Tiznow who was last seen finishing last in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) as the favorite after completely blowing the start. Trainer Dale Romans has carefully primed him for this, with a bullet workout earlier in the month and several sharp breezes since. Flavien Prat will ride for the first time on the colt who broke his maiden at Ellis Park by more than 19 lengths, and is a Grade 3 winner over the distance.
On the far outside is Chance It for Saffie Joseph, Jr. The son of Currency Swap is four for six lifetime and was the winner of the Mucho Macho Man Stakes here January 4. In his only two losses he was second, both of those were while sprinting. Tyler Gaffalione will be back aboard the three-time stakes winner. As Seen On Tv, who was second by a head in the Mucho Macho Man, is also back for this.
Ete Indien breaks alongside. He was second in the Holy Bull (G3) here February 1; that race is the local prep for this, and the winner is not running back here. Ete Indien was a winner over this track at a mile December 20. Florent Geroux will ride for the first time.
Shotski has a big shot after winning the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on December 7. He was then second as the favorite in the Withers (G3) February 1 in his 2020 bow. John Velazquez will ride the son of Blame for Jeremiah O’Dwyer.
Liam’s Lucky Charm returns to Florida after a strange run in the Risen Star (G2) at the Fair Grounds. The son of Khozan broke through the gate before the race, then was reloaded and finished tenth. That was uncharacteristic as he hadn’t been worse than third before, with two stakes wins including the Pasco Stakes by five and a half lengths. Gear Jockey is still a maiden in five starts, but was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) two back. Country Grammer was an impressive winner at Aqueduct for Chad Brown on November 11 but hasn’t run since. He loses Irad Ortiz, Jr (in Saudi Arabia) so Javier Castellano will ride. The Falcon, Masterday, Makabim, and Candy Tycoon round out the field.
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