To Honor And Serve
, winner of the Nashua (G2) and Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct last fall, headlines a field of eight three-year-olds in Satuday's Fountain of Youth (G2) Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
The Bill Mott trainee has worked six times at Payson Park this year, most recently logging a four furlong bullet on Feb 20.
To Honor And Serve faced some quality horses in four starts as a juvenile last season. He split subsequent graded winners Astrology and Anthony's Cross in his Saratoga debut and began a 3-race win streak at Belmont on Oct 2. He beat recent Risen Star (G2) hero Mucho Macho Man in the aforementioned Nashua and Remsen and figures to be part of the pace in his much anticipated return. John Velazquez has ridden the son of Bernardini three times and note that he is also the regular rider of Uncle Mo.
The expected favorite could get a challenge from Soldat
. Kiaran McLaughlin's promising colt handles any footing and exits a romping course/distance allowance win in the slop Jan 21. The graded turf winner finished second in the BC Juvenile Turf (G2) last fall and projects a ground saving tactical trip from the inside post under Alan Garcia. Gourmet Dinner
leads the field in earnings with more than $900,000 in the bank and the Delta Jackpot (G3) hero was last seen finishing a solid 3rd (Mucho Macho Man 4th) in the Holy Bull (G3). The impressive winner of that heat (Dialed In) opted to skip the Fountain of Youth. Ramon Dominguez hops aboard the stretch threat and the consistent dirt performer should offer wagering value. [Who do you like in the Fountain of Youth? Log
in and rank your 2011 Kentucky Derby contenders!]
Three horses exit the same local nine furlong allowance event on Feb 5. Shackleford
won that one but figures to face a more demanding pace scenario today. Casper's Touch
had a very troubled trip and did well to land the place. Ken McPeek's charge attracts Alex Solis and can do some stretch damage with a clean journey. El Grayling
set the pace and finished a nose behind Casper
in 3rd. He is 1-for-8 lifetime and seems a cut below. Bowman's Causeway
is on the improve for Patrick Biancone and he earned a quality speed rating in his graduation run at a mile and an eighth here Feb 11. Leparoux seemingly chose him over Casper's Touch
and he gets tested for class in his first start vs. winners. The son of Giant's Causeway was bred in Canada and reportedly has an eye on the June 26 Queen's Plate at Woodbine. Racing Aptitude
rounds out the field and the turf specialist seems overmatched. Jose Lezcano rides for Howie Tesher.
The nine furlong Fountain of Youth (G2) goes as the tenth race at Gulfstream Park on Feb 26 and carries a purse of $400,000.