Lauren King, Gulfstream Park
Since finishing off the board in his debut last summer, Colts Neck Stables’ Awesome Speed
has done nothing wrong while rattling off three straight victories. He can continue the streak when he steps up to graded stakes company for the first time in Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2).
A sophomore son of Awesome Again out of the Aptitude mare Speedy Escape, Awesome Speed opened the year winning the one-mile Mucho Macho Man Stakes Jan. 2 at Gulfstream in his longest trip to date. The 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth will be his first try around two turns.
"He won at a mile so it’s not that much further. It should be easier for him,” trainer Alan Goldberg said. “His bottom half, she was a sprinter but I don’t think he’ll have any problem going a little further. It won’t be a problem until it’s a problem. We’ve got to find out at some point.”
Awesome Speed broke his maiden and captured the James F. Lewis III Stakes a month apart a month apart last fall at Laurel Park, both at six furlongs. A graduate of Fasig-Tipton’s Florida sale last winter, he got time off by design after the Mucho Macho Man.
“That was the plan all along, run in the Macho Man and then run in the Fountain of Youth. I didn’t want to run a lot of times down there. There’s the Fountain of Youth, obviously, but then the Florida Derby [G1 April 2]. We purchased him at Fasig-Tipton so we’d get a $1 million bonus if we won that race, so that was our deal,” Goldberg said. “I don’t think he was tops for the Macho Man. He had some skin disease and he wasn’t 100 percent. Right now he’s 100 percent so we’ll see how he runs.”
Along with Awesome Banner, a front-running winner of his only three starts, the last two in graded stakes at Gulfstream, Awesome Speed figures to be prominently placed from post four under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who replaces the injured Joel Rosario. Undefeated Mohaymen, regarded as the top 3-year-old prospect on the East Coast, is the program favorite.
“I think we’ll be sitting second or third off of Awesome Banner. I think he’s got to go to the front,” Goldberg said. “This horse will rate. You don’t have to send him. He gets himself into the race. He’s very ratable. I think he’ll be fine.”
Source: Gulfstream Park