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Just minutes after the Todd Pletcher-trained Eskendereya (Giant's Causeway) romped in Saturday's Fountain of Youth S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, DISCREETLY MINE (Mineshaft) posted a quick Derby prep double for the barn in the $300,000 Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds. The E. Paul Robsham Stables homebred went straight to the front beneath new rider Javier Castellano, and he never looked back in his two-turn debut.
Zayat Stables' ESKENDEREYA (Giant's Causeway) blew the doors off his competition in Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth S. (G2), stamping himself as the leading Kentucky Derby (G1) prospect in South Florida and giving multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher yet another top classic prospect to go with recent Sam F. Davis S. (G3) hero Rule (Roman Ruler) and Saturday's Risen Star S. (G2) winner Discreetly Mine (Mineshaft).
Paul Pompa Jr.'s D' FUNNYBONE (D'wildcat) found the one turn of Saturday's $150,000 Hutcheson S. (G2) to be right within his wheelhouse, and last year's Saratoga Special S. (G2) and Futurity S. (G2) hero duly got back on the winning track. Rebounding from his debacle in the November 7 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita, the even-money favorite coasted to the front turning for home and went on to finish seven furlongs on Gulfstream Park's fast track in 1:22.
Martin Racing Stable LLC and Dan Morgan's JODY SLEW (Slew City Slew) made her first start for new trainer Bret Calhoun a winning one in the Tiffany Lass S. at Fair Grounds on January 23, and on Saturday continued progressing for her new conditioner with a hard-fought nose victory in the $141,500 Silverbulletday S. (G3) at the New Orleans venue.
The Steven Miyadi-owned and -trained DIXIE COMMANDER (Dixie Union) swept to a 22-1 upset in Saturday's $50,000 Turf Paradise Derby, his first start away from his home base of Golden Gate Fields.
Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith's CONNEMARA (Giant's Causeway) suffered the first loss of his career when making his stakes bow in the January 16 California Derby, but bounced right back to capture the $150,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields by 1 1/4 lengths on Saturday. With veteran reinsman Russell Baze in the irons, the Todd Pletcher trainee rallied wide into the stretch before pulling away to complete 1 1/8 miles on the Tapeta in 1:51 1/5.
TIME TO ‘THINK PINK’ AS KENTUCKY OAKS, SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE® RENEW PARTNERSHIP -- Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world's largest breast cancer organization, officially renewed their partnership on Wednesday, Feb. 17, to raise funds to aid in breast cancer awareness and research during Kentucky Oaks Day, Friday, April 30.
FLORIDA / BUDDY’S SAINT MAKES 2010 BOW IN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH – An important weekend of preps for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) offers opportunities to view intriguing contenders in several locations, but few of those 3-year-olds will attract more scrutiny than Buddy’s Saint.
The impressive winner of last fall’s Remsen (GII) at Aqueduct makes his 2010 debut against nine rivals in Saturday’s $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (GII) over 1 1/8 miles at Florida’s Gulfstream Park.
Oaklawn Park may have been forced to reschedule Monday's $250,000 Southwest S. (G3) to Saturday, but there were no defections from the one-mile test.
"We have the same 10 back for Saturday," stakes coordinator Craig Lytel said of three-year-olds scheduled to line up for the two-turn event.
A field of 10 three-year-olds will line up for Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, the top local prep for the March 20 Florida Derby (G1), but only half have generated enough enthusiasm so far to be considered candidates for the win in the nine-furlong fixture. The two likely to attract the most wagering support are BUDDY'S SAINT (Saint Liam) and JACKSON BEND (Hear No Evil), among the leading juveniles of 2009 who competed exclusively on dirt.