Saturday February 16, 2002

The 56th Fountain Of Youth Stakes


1. Grey Beard...Prado/120...Wasn't quite ready for the wars at Churchill in November. But he came back nicely here in his '02 debut. Motion winning 31% and he and Prado are 4-3-0-1 in the last 2 weeks. Pressing style will fit well here as there appears to be legit speed. Figures to be a long price and he might need some time to compete with these.

2. Political Attack...Guidry/120...Don't be fooled by that Tropical Park Derby score. It was very slow and his best effort by a mile. He's likely to regress here and that will put him nowhere near the front. Solid works at Payson, but expect a step back this time.

3. Stephentown....Day/116...Likely to be a short price and deservingly so. He skipped right through the allowance after acing the maiden. Works don't show much, but that doesn't matter when you win in the afternoon. First time Lasix just in case all the rest isn't enough. A tough cookie, but not a lot of value.

4. Harlan's Holiday...D'Amico/122...The victim of a very wide trip in the Holy Bull and with the track composition being what it was that day, he should move forward here--right into the driver's seat. There is some doubt that Harlan's want to go 10 panels. But he only has to navigate 8 1/2 today, which should be no problem. Blinkers off which really doesn't mean anything here. The likely favorite, and most likely winner.

5. Blue Burner...Bailey/116...Regally bred colt has Bill Mott in unfamiliar territory; saddling a potential Kentucky Derby winner. He'll need to step up a bit here but I feel that just might be in the cards. If he runs the race I suspect he's capable of, he can win. A good bet to finish in the tri as it is.

6. Booklet...Chavez/122...Holy Bull champ was all out to hold off Harlan's Holiday in that race, and now he'll have to come back and face that one, plus a few others that could compromise his chances. I look for a step back here mostly because of the competition, and the price. I sure loved his daddy here 14 years ago though.

7. Speed Hunter...Douglas/112...Might be one of the ones compromising Booklet's shot here. I like the foundation but that race at Belmont troubles me. He completely threw in the towel. Day jumps to Stephentown further clouding the issue. Breeding will come into question entering the stretch.

8. Mabry's Boy...Velasquez/120...I guess Shug is trying to narrow his Derby contingent because I really don't think this guy wants any part of a classic distance. Then again, maybe he is tired of sprinting and just wants to stretch his legs a bit. Looked awful in the Hutcheson, and now wheels back in 14 days. Saarland, even without running, will be Shug's best shot for the roses after this day is done.


      Harlan's Holiday is set up perfectly for this. I'll be shocked if his presence isn't felt.

     Stephentown looks like a future monster after his first 3 efforts. Another step forward here and he'll be one of the early faves for Louisville. It certainly will be no fluke if he wins.

      Not a lot of value in this race and not the best betting race in the world. I like Blue Burner to step up and throw his hat into the ring for the roses. May be the only time you'll see Mott and Bailey paired and not 1st or 2nd choice!

1. Harlan's Holiday

2. Stephentown

3. Blue Burner

Best of luck everyone!

2002 bBra