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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


The G2 Fountain of Youth is one of the key Kentucky Derby preps in that it’s placement on the calendar is perfect. It’s a gateway to the 9-furlong Florida Derby, a prolific prep for Louisville, or any other 100-pointer that suits a trainer’s schedule.

With the scratch of Mo Donegal, Todd Pletcher’s Emmanuel (9-2) will get all the attention for the trainer who has an entrant in 12 races on the 13-race program. Yes, the competition, pace and field size are new factors but he has immense talent and is training like a wild horse. We think he is a very good colt.

Simplification (7-2), who was moving backward in the starting gate when the Holy Bull starting gate was sprung and for a speed horse put in a long, wide drive thereafter and secure the place was a remarkable effort. Nicely drawn inside and a switch to Jose Ortiz both augur well.

Rattle N Roll (12-1) showed class at 2 has a big kick, likely will get the pace he needs but this is season’s debut. He certainly doesn’t figure to be 100% for this but given his juvenile form and added maturity, he’s certainly not impossible.

The ‘now’ horse that could offer value here is the interesting Due Time (6-1). Impressive winning his last at a flat mile, he chased the leaders while under a loose rein, angled out for room approaching headstretch, impressively taking the lead and winning with something left, taken in hand late by Paco Lopez.

The Not This Time-Curlin cross is working well with this individual, and the fact Kelly Breen is a profitable 23% effective with LAY-3 runners augurs well, too. Meanwhile, watch his recent win and see for yourself: Gulfstream Park, FEB 4, Race 9.

See Saturday’s featured value-wagering guide for Fountain of Youth plays, straight, exotics and All-Stakes Late Pick 4.

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