CLEVELAND - There is a lot of racing action this weekend with some of this year’s top rated derby hopefuls set to meet up. We typically don’t see such a high caliber of three year-olds facing off so soon in the racing season and this weekend’s schedule has fans talking.
In South Florida, the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park has top rated contender Union Rags along with undefeated Algorithms and Discreet Dancer, both trained by Todd Pletcher, entered in the 1 1/16 mile race.
What’s relevant about this race? Union Rags has been on a layoff since finishing second to Hansen in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs last November. He battled in the stretch, but his 103 speed rating that day was just not enough. Trainer Michael Matz knows the road to Churchill Downs the first weekend of May, and already has plenty of earnings to his credit with this colt to make that trip. There will be a jockey change for Union Rags with J. Leparoux, and his previous rider Javier Castellano will be riding undefeated Algorithms. Union Rags will break from post 7, with odds listed at 2/1.
Algorithms is owned by Starlight Partners and had a workout this week of 4 furlongs in :49 at Palm Meadows. Having won all three of his career starts, he beat 2011 Juvenile Champion Hansen on January 29, 2012 in the (G3) Holy Bull by 5 lengths at Gulfstream Park on a sloppy track. This three year old bay colt is the son of Bernadini and will break from post 2 with odds at 8/5.
Algorithms stable mate, Discreet Dancer, is another undefeated Todd Pletcher horse entered in this $400,000 race. He is the son of Discreet Cat and went 5 furlongs in 1:00 in his last workout. He won his last race at Gulfstream by 5 ½ lengths. John Velazquez will take this mount from post 5, with current odds at 3/1.
Post time for the race is 5:13pm ET. The remaining field from the inside post out are: PP1. Neck ‘N Neck odds 15/1, jockey J. Lezcano, trained by I. R. Wiles PP3. Fort Loudon odds 20/1, jockey Rajiv Maragh, trained by Stanley Gold – has experience at a two turn race. PP4. Casual Trick odds are at 8/1, jockey C. Nakatani, trained by Nick Zito. PP6. News Pending odds 20/1, jockey K. Desormeaux, trained by Dale Romans. PP8. Csaba odds 20/1, jockey P. Lopez, trained by Phillip Gleaves.
Keep your eyes on Gulfstream Park for more derby contenders to run in the Grade 2 Swale for $150,000 on March 10 th, and the $1,000,000 Florida Derby (G1) on March 31, 2012.