Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index

Triple Crown Prep Results

Date: 02/14/2004

On Saturday two important races on the Triple Crown Trail were contested. The main event was the $250,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes, a Grade 2 event over 1 1/16 miles on the main track. On the undercard was the $150,000 Hutcheson, a Grade 2 seven-furlong sprint plus an allowance race with a major Derby prospect making his first start of the year.

Read the Footnotes just gets up over Second of June in the Fountain of Youth.
In the Fountain of Youth, a field of eight faced the starter including the highly regarded Second of June, sent off as the 3-2 favorite. Second choice at 2-1 was Read the Footnotes, with jockey Jerry Bailey aboard. When the field was sent underway, 15-1 shot Frisky Spider took the lead right away and kept the pace honest with fractions of 23.97 and 47.70 over the fast track, before fading to an eventual seventh place finish. Favored Second of June was close up to the pace just off the rail, and inherited the lead after six furlongs in a brisk 1:11.21. Turning for home, Read the Footnotes, who had stalked the pace in third earlier on, went three wide around the last turn and then, in a prolonged stretch battle with the favorite, fought gamely to get to the wire first by a neck in 1:42.71. It was 7 1/2 lengths back to 5-1 third choice Silver Wagon in third. Results Chart

UPDATE: Following his second-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Saturday, Second of June was found to have suffered a condylar fracture of the cannon bone, and was to have surgery at Gulfstream Park's clinic on Sunday. Trainer Bill Cesare said, "The fracture's not displaced, and it's not real wide, but it's there. It shouldn't affect him, other than time. He'll be off for three or four months. He probably won't be ready to run until November or December."

Winning jockey Jerry Bailey said, "I needed every bit he had in him. Neither horse wanted to lose." Winning trainer Richard Violette said, "We were grinding it out and I thought the layoff would get to us, but it didn't. He's a very fast horse, he's five for six, and he's the real deal. It was the first time Jerry had to get into him, so I wasn't sure what to expect. He did a lot of things very good today. He settled, attacked when Jerry was ready and won a long battle." Read the Footnotes is expected to start next in the Florida Derby on March 13 also at Gulfstream.

Limehouse winner of the Hutcheson Stakes.
A field of ten went to post in the Hutcheson, with Wynn Dot Comma sent off as the lukewarm 5-2 favorite. Over the first half mile, 8-1 shot Deputy Storm and 9-1 Harbour Gate battled on the front end through an initial quarter in 21.68 and a half in 43.73. On the turn, Harbour Gate succumbed to the very fast fractions and faltered to eighth at the finish. 4-1 second choice Limehouse, back in sixth and saving ground early, rallied down the lane to catch Deputy Storm at the 1/16 pole and drew clear by 2 1/4 lengths at the wire, in a time of 1:22.23. It was 1 3/4 lengths back to 14-1 shot and late closing Saratoga County, who hit the gate at the start and had to rally from last. The favorite Wynn Dot Comma tracked the pace early but had no rally down the lane, finishing fourth. Results Chart

Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "This horse is super game. I was a little concerned when the 1-horse [Silver Rapt] scratched, because you never want to be on the rail going seven [furlongs], but I told John not to be concerned because this horse has done everything. He showed a lot of courage down the lane."

Birdstone winning his 2004 debut with ease.
Although it wasn't a stakes race, the curtain-raiser at Gulfstream on Saturday also had Triple Crown implications. The $36,000 allowance race at 1 mile and 70 yards featured several highly-regarded three-year-olds topped by Nick Zito trainee Birdstone, sent off as the 1-5 favorite in a field of six. As expected, Birdstone stalked the pace of 45-1 longshot Caiman through six furlongs in 1:12.82 and then gained command at the top of the stretch, easily drawing clear by 3 lengths over 12-1 shot Capejinsky under a hand ride in 1:42.40.

Winning jockey Jerry Bailey said, "It went good - very good. It figured to be a nice slow pace in there, but he relaxed very well for me, which was what I wanted him to do. He finished very well without me having to really get down on him. I mean, you always want to win, but the first Saturday in May is what's really important." Winning trainer Nick Zito said, "That was great, just what I was looking for. He was hung out wide, but he came home fast and that's what you want. There's always doubt when a horse hasn't raced in a while, but Jerry (Bailey) gave me a lot of confidence. You couldn't ask for a better deal." When asked what was next for Birdstone: "There are so many options. We'll see how he'll do over the next month. We know he won't race for a month." Results Chart

Risen Star results from Sunday.

Kentucky Derby Contenders

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