Mohaymen Shoots to Remain Perfect in Fountain of Youth
With Cherry Wine out of the Fountain of Youth due to a fever, and Awesome Banner potentially to follow, the field has weakened against the expected dominant favorite Mohaymen. Still, there are four or five three year old challengers set to run against the money-favorite Moyamen in Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. The Kentucky Derby points race will award the top-4 finishers with 50-20-10-5 points.
That includes Zulu, a son of 2006 Preakness winner Bernardini. The $900,000 colt is undefeated with a pair of wins over this track. Zulu stretches out over two turns for the first time and steps up from his 7-length allowance score for trainer Todd Pletcher. But he’s bread for the distance and is the likely challenger to Mohaymen.
“We think he’s a very talented colt,” Pletcher said. “We anticipate he’s going to improve stretching out. He’ll need to against this group but we’ve been pleased with what he’s done so far and pleased with how he’s trained since the allowance win. We’ll find out a lot more Saturday.”
Zulu will break from the No. 2 post with Fellowship on the rail. Fellowship closed well off a slow pace in the Holy Bull to finish third, and he’s a talented horse on the improve who breezed five furlongs in a bullet February 13 in 58 3/5 seconds.
Awesome Banner is also undefeated and has the speed to press the pace. He’s scheduled to start in the No. 5 post, but he could be a scratch and target the March 12 Tampa Bay Downs. Golden Ray in post 3 offers little off his last place finish last time out while Awesome Speed has won his last three races including the Mucho Macho Man mile over this track and posted fast fractions after being bumped at the start. He’ll break from post No. 4 and we’ll find out if he’s ready to handle the added distance in the 1 1/16 mile race. Mohaymen completes the field and will start from the outside No. 6 post.
The spotlight continues to shine on Mohaymen, who is 4-for-4 after selling for $2.2 million at the Keeneland sale. The Tapit colt continues to impress with three Grade 2 wins including his last in the Holy Bull when he accelerated in the final four furlongs and flew home to an easy win under jockey Junior Alvarado. Mohaymen stands out above this field in terms of proven talent and versatility, and especially with Cherry Wine and Awesome Banner out, but he’ll offer little return in the pari-mutuels as the heavy favorite.
Post time Saturday is 5:30 p.m. ET with coverage on TVG.