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Fort Loudon Will Start in Florida Derby

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Jacks or Better Farm’s Florida homebred 3-year-old colt Fort Loudon will take at least one more chance with division leaders in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park (G1) on Sat., Mar 31 after picking up minor checks earlier this winter in the Holy Bull (G3) and Fountain of Youth (G2).

“He ran a decent race to be fourth in the Holy Bull (Jan. 29) and fifth to Union Rags in the Fountain of Youth (Feb. 26),” said trainer Stanley Gold. “He had a little trouble at the start of the Fountain of Youth, but not enough to give him an excuse. He was beaten only nine lengths by Hansen and Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), which is hardly a disgrace.

“We’ve decided to give him one more chance because I think he is capable of a little better than he showed in the Fountain of Youth. We can always go back to looking for second tier spots later in the year if he doesn’t move forward in the Florida Derby.”

The field for the 61st Florida Derby is also expected to include Fountain of Youth winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite Union Rags, Risen Star (G2) winner El Padrino, Fountain of Youth runner-up News Pending, Gulfstream Park Derby winner Reveron, Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) runner-up Take Charge Indy and Neck ‘n Neck, fourth in the Fountain of Youth.

A son of Awesome of Course, Fort Loudon earned his chance in the Breeders’ Cup by winning four straight races last year as 2-year-old at Calder, including a sweep of the three ‘open’ divisions of the track’s Florida Stallion Stakes series, an accomplishment achieved by the same team in 2009 with emerging star Jackson Bend.



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