2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes Preview

2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes PreviewDale Romans sends three hopefuls to the 2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes

The 2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes has been a long awaited Kentucky Derby prep race since it was announced that it would also serve as the season debut of Good Magic, who was last out winning the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The colt has been neck-and-neck in terms of hype with Bolt d’Oro, and despite becoming a million dollar winner in the world championships, he still has a lot to prove.

Good Magic is a great talent but he has yet to prove that the victory he picked up at Del Mar in November wasn’t a fluke. He was an 8/1 outsider in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This weekend, he enters the 2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes as the horse to beat with 7/5 odds.

If you’re sold on him, then this is an easy decision. He’ll probably go off as an even money horse. But it’s a good time to remind horse players everywhere that Good Magic has only won a single stakes race. That’s why his performance at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup was branded an upset. There’s no definitive proof that he is as good as the oddsmakers are making him out to be on this betting board.

Dale Romans will trot three colts in to this race. Free Drop Billy is the most proven, which is why he’s being inserted in to the 2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes as the 9/2 third choice. There are fans of this unique runner, who gallops like a champion but hasn’t matured all the way. There have been glimpses, and his last time out was a runner-up performance against the highly touted Audible in the Holy Bull. Also roaring from Romans’ stable is Storm Runner and Promises Fulfilled, a pair of longshots who aren’t terrible bets. There’s simply no track record behind either.

Strike Power certainly feels like a sneaky play in this race at 4/1 given that he rode well in the 2018 Swale one month ago. He’s as worthy after dusting Gotta Go in that race, and proving that he has the speed to bull over distance of under a mile. The question here is whether or not Strike Power can go the distance. You’re getting a nominal risk-reward ratio to find out. Definitely worth a look.

Peppered, He Takes Charge, Gotta Go, Marconi and Machismo all round out the field as the longshots. Marconi actually comes in as an 8/1 shot but he performed at a sub-par level while dwindling to third in the Withers. He could absolutely step up his game, but the memory of his last race is still fresh in the mind.

While Good Magic certainly deserves mention, Strike Power and Free Drop Billy represent better all out values in the 2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes. An upset is going to happen. Good Magic is not the front runner in the Kentucky Derby race just yet. He could surprise and solidify his stock this weekend, but the second choices in this race are worth the risk in my estimation.

This is the second Kentucky Derby prep race to offer a 50-20-10-5 split to the top four finishers. Whomever wins will be in pole position for one of the bigger derby preps down the road.

2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes – Saturday, March 3rd at Gulfstream Park 
1 1/16th Miles – 3 Year Olds – $400,000

PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 He Takes Charge M. Casse T. Gaffalione 20-1
2 Free Drop Billy D. Romans R Albarado 9-2
3 Peppered R. Baker N. Juarez 30-1
4 Strike Power M. Hennig L. Saez 4-1
5 Storm Runner D. Romans J. Rosario 15-1
6 Good Magic C. Brown J. Ortiz 7-5
7 Gotta Go I. Wilkes C. Landeros 10-1
8 Marconi T. Pletcher J. Casetllarno 8-1
9 Machismo A. Quartarolo A. Jiminez 15-1
10 Promises Fulfilled D. Romans I. Ortiz Jr. 20-1

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