An excellent field of 12 sophomores will vie in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge event attracted some prime 3-year-old prospects in what promises to be a thrilling contest. The top-four finishers of the 1 1/16-mile fray will be awarded points on a 50-20-10-5 structure.
The shape of the Saturday feature on a huge day of stakes action in South Florida
is a muddled one, with numerous fleet contenders on board. The pace will be swift and contested, and I envision a horse coming from well off the tempo to win as occurred in 2019 when late-running Code of Honor was best.
Paul Pompa Jr.’s COUNTRY GRAMMER
fits the profile of a contender who will benefit from the hot fractions, and he is the Expert Pick of the Week. The bay son of Tonalist was a winner going nine furlongs at Aqueduct
in his juvenile finale against a solid cast, and he has trained in fine fashion in anticipation of his sophomore debut.
Trained by Chad Brown, the $450,000 Tonalist colt earned a hefty 104 BRIS Late Pace figure in his maiden tally and I love the aggressive placement for his seasonal bow from his expert connections. The well-bred sort hails from a powerful extended Juddmonte family, and it’s a big plus that Javier Castellano will be in the silks on Saturday.
Country Grammer was forwardly placed in his latest performance, but he will be taken off the pace in a race with an abundance of early foot on Saturday. The Kentucky-bred will save ground and bide his time leading up to the stretch run, where I expect him to unleash his strong late kick inside the final furlong and earn his place on the Triple Crown Trail.
Morning-line choice Dennis’ Moment has been much ballyhooed following a 19-length maiden drubbing at Ellis Park as a juvenile. The Dale Romans charge was ultra-impressive in his Iroquois (G3) stroll
next time out, and the quirky colt might have the most raw talent in a very deep field.
Dennis’ Moment is reportedly training in ‘perfect’ fashion in advance of his 3-year-old debut, and the son of Tiznow is a must use in the race with Flavien Prat picking up the mount for the initial time.
- An exacta with Country Grammer over Dennis’ Moment is the Best Bet of the Week.