Road To The Kentucky Derby: Fountain Of Youth Preview and Top Win Contenders

Written By Fairway Jay on March 5, 2022 - Last Updated on March 23, 2022

Saturday is the biggest day of Kentucky Derby prep races in March. The Road to the Kentucky Derby features four races that will draw plenty of interest and wagering action. This includes the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

All four races award Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers. In three of these races, winners will secure enough points for a spot in the Kentucky Derby on May 7.

  • Fountain of Youth — Gulfstream Park
  • Gotham — Aqueduct
  • San Felipe — Santa Anita Park
  • John Battaglia Memorial — Turfway Park

The Fountain of Youth, Gotham and San Felipe will each award 50 points to the winner. The winner of the John Battaglia Memorial will earn 10 points.

Will another big long shot win a Derby prep race, like last weekend’s Rebel Stakes winner Un Ojo (75-1)? He secured his spot in the Kentucky Derby field and rewarded his betting backers handsomely with a $2 win bet returning $152.80. A $1 exacta wheel with Uno Ojo winning would have cost $10 and returned $708!

1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge

In addition to the unrivaled big day of stakes races Saturday, the 1/ST Ultimate Betting Challenge takes place and includes both the Fountain of Youth and San Felipe in the live money contest. Races will push out of the gate every 15 minutes, with 14 graded stakes on the docket.

2022 Fountain of Youth field and odds

Race 12 Saturday, March 5, is the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Post time is 5:42 p.m. EST, and the 12-horse field of 3-year-olds runs for a $400,000 purse. You can watch, wager and bet on horse racing for all races at TVG as part of their comprehensive daily package. TVG covers horse racing from coast to coast and includes dozens of race tracks.

1Markhamian20-1M. MenesesJ. Avila
2Simplification5-2J. OrtizA. Sano
3Howling Time15-1J. TalamoD. Romans
4In Due Time6-1P. LopezK. Breen
5Dean Delivers15-1M. VasquezM. Yates
6Rattle N Roll8-1B. Hernandez Jr. K. McPeek
7A.P.'s Secret15-1T. GaffalioneS. Joseph Jr.
8Emmanuel3-1L. SaezT. Pletcher
9High Oak8-1J. AlvaradoW.. Mott
10Giant Game15-1C. LanerieD. Romans
11O Captain30-1J. CastellanoG. Delgado
13Galt13-1J. RosarioW. Mott

No. 12 Mo Donegal scratched, and he was a top win contender. Mo Donegal will run next in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. A top three finish in that race will likely give him enough Kentucky Derby points for trainer Todd Pletcher to have another challenger to run for the roses.

Top win contenders

  • In Due Time (6-1)
  • Emmanuel (9-2)
  • Simplification (7-2)

In Due Time offers value and a solid shot as a win contender and most reliable board hitter, according to Horse Racing Nation‘s Super Screener report and race analysis. He is learning quickly, and that is reflected in his impressive form progression with another move forward. He finished third off the long layoff and then won impressively a month ago at Gulfstream. In that last race, In Due Time posted a 100 Equibase Speed Figure with balanced pace and speed ratings throughout the one-turn race. In Due Time has stout route breeding and is one to watch in the early Kentucky Derby Future Wager market. If he wins a stakes race, his odds will certainly plummet. A solid ground-saving trip beneath jockey Paco Lopez would give In Due Time every chance turning for home.

Emmanuel is ridden by the Gulfstream Winter Meet’s top jockey, Luis Saez. Leading trainer Todd Pletcher has saddled him to back-to-back front-running victories, including a score in his debut here at Gulfstream. Emmanuel’s last start five weeks ago was a two-turn race at Tampa Bay Downs, and he came home with a head-turning BRIS Late Pace figure of 110. He’s since recorded back-to-back bullet workouts, and Emmanuel is another that may sit a perfect stalking trip.

Simplification gets a rider change to top jockey Jose Ortiz. He ran better than his racing line shows in the Holy Bull, as he rallied late after a poor start to finish second (ahead of Mo Donegal). A better start is needed, especially since he’ll have three speed horses to his outside. Simplification has now posted three Equibase Speed Figures of 95-98 over the Gulfstream track, and he added a blistering five-furlong bullet work two weeks ago. A little improvement and a better trip would give him a chance to find the winner’s circle.

Howling Time and Markhamian are the HRN Super Screener top long shots. You may want to consider them if you’re looking to add more horses to your trifecta, superfecta and Pick Five tickets. Howling Time is one of three horses in the race sired by Not This Time, along with In Due Time and Simplification. Howling Time has posted three straight bullet workouts at Gulfstream ahead of his 3-year-old debut. He won the Street Sense Stakes in October and then raced on the lead for six furlongs in November’s Kentucky Jockey Club. He faded to fifth and finished behind three Kentucky Derby hopefuls: Risen Star runner-up Smile Happy, Sam F. Davis winner Classic Causeway and Holy Bull winner White Abarrio.

Check out Playfecta for additional betting strategies on the Fountain of Youth, Gotham and San Felipe, and stay tuned for more updates on the Derby trail.

Fountain of Youth Winners

The Fountain of Youth Stakes has produced 13 Kentucky Derby winners, but none since Orb in 2013.

2021Greatest Honour1-1$4.001:44.02Closer, off pace1st
2020Ete Indien3-1$8.601:43.02Front10th
2019Code of Honor9-1$21.001:43.85Midpack4th
2018Promises Fulfilled18-1$38.401:44.17Front3rd
2017Gunnevera4-1$10.401:44.25Closer, off pace7th
2015Itsaknockout DQ5-1$12.801:46.28Stalking2nd
2014Wildcat Red9-2$11.001:41.85Pressing3rd
2013Orb5-1$12.801:42.24Closer, off pace2nd
2012Union Rags6-5$4.401:42.68Stalking3rd
2011Soldat (1 1/8 miles)7-5$4.801:50.23Front1st
2010Eskendereya (1 1/8)4-1$9.801:48.87Pressing9th
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Fairway Jay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst and provides insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. His tee-to-green coverage and racing contributions have been provided to Churchill Downs, Twinspires, TVG, Forbes, TheLines, numberFire and PlayUSA platforms. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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