A runaway winner of last November's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) but a narrower victor of the Eclipse Award as 2017 champion juvenile colt, Good Magic will make his much-anticipated three-year-old debut Saturday in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
The 1 1/16-mile race offers 50 Kentucky Derby (G1) qualifying points to the winner as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. The second- through fourth-place finishers will earn 20, 10, and five points, respectively.
Still a maiden but with a sharp second-place effort in the Champagne (G1) leading up to the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar, Good Magic benefited from both natural progression and a rough trip for dual Grade 1 winner and Eclipse rival Bolt d'Oro to win the 1 1/16-miles test by more than four lengths. It was enough to put him ahead of Bolt d'Oro in the championship race as well, by a vote of 131-113.
The speedy Strike Power, two-for-two at the current Gulfstream Championship meet, will attempt to hop on the classic trail following an eight-length romp in his 5 1/2-furlong debut in December and a 2 3/4-length triumph in last month's Swale (G3) over seven furlongs. The Mark Hennig charge is by sprint champion Speightstown.
Trainer Dale Romans has three entered, including Breeders' Futurity (G1) hero and Holy Bull (G2) runner-up Free Drop Billy. Promises Fulfilled, third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in November, is also in the cast as is recent allowance scorer Storm Runner.
Marconi, a $2 million son of Tapit, makes his first start outside Aqueduct following a third-place effort in the Withers (G3) over 1 1/8 miles. Stepping up off maiden wins are Machismo, who won by more than 11 lengths going 6 1/2 furlongs, and the Mark Casse-trained He Takes Charge. The field is rounded out by stakes-winning Swale runner-up Gotta Go and the Grade 3-placed Peppered, who endured a rough trip in the Kentucky Jockey Club.
The Fountain of Youth is the last of 14 races at Gulfstream on Saturday. The race can be watched and wagered on at TwinSpires.com.
(Matt Wooley/EquiSport photos)