The morning line favorite Dennis' Moment isn't among them.
"He clearly wasn’t as bad as he looked in that last race," Shutty, said, looking back to a stumble and non-effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, "and he has been training well since. Connections are just looking for a solid return to the Kentucky Derby trail to shake off the rust, secure some points and prep for a much bigger move forward in his next start."
Shutty considers Dennis' Moment "a top Derby contender" in the bigger picture. But he'll look elsewhere for a Fountain of Youth hero as the favorite makes his first start since Nov. 1.
Only twice raced, the Chad Brown trainee shows a layoff dating back almost as far as Dennis' Moment. Country Grammer originally pointed to the Remsen (G2) for his stakes debut in December, but a temperature counted out the son of Tonalist.
Now Country Grammer comes into this spot off a steady string of works in Florida having appeared last when breaking his maiden Nov. 11 at Aqueduct.
"What a setup this colt gets, as the pace will be swift and highly pressured," Shutty said. "He had to overcome extremely slow pace setups in his first two races. Country Grammer the best late turn of foot in this field, and no horse will be closing faster down the lane. Distance is not a problem."
Shutty termed Country Grammer's work pattern as "excellent," noting that the 1 1/8-mile maiden winner will get a bit of a cutback coming off the bench.
Shutty's other "A" selections both go to horses with prior Gulfstream experience.
Off a narrow runner-up to Chance It in the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man Stakes, As Seen on Tv "does try two turns for the first time," Shutty said, "but that balanced energy distribution profile and stout breeding indicate he’ll take to it just fine. Could not secure a better trip saving ground in the two path pressing No. 1 Candy Tycoon."
Ete Indien, second to top 3-year-old Tiz the Law in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3), "laid out remarkable Brisnet Pace/Speed Rating figures of nearly 100-plus throughout in his last two races," Shutty said. "...Tough call on a regression here or a move forward. His last work supports the latter scenario as well as enjoying good spacing between races."
Shutty similarly comments on the rest of the Fountain of Youth field, plus lists his screening criteria and suggested wagers for other top stakes in this weekend's Super Screener. Get the advantage with your handicapping today!
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|Rank||Silks||Horse / Sire||Rating||Trainer / Jockey||Last Start||Status|
New Year's Day
Lookin At Lucky
|G. Arnold II|
|S. Joseph, Jr.|