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Belmont Friday Stakes
Shadwell General Manager Rick Nichols leads Mohaymen to the winner's circle after the Fountain of Youth Stakes
One of the major paths to the Kentucky Derby is through Gulfstream Park in Florida. On Saturday, a field of six 3-year-olds contested the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), a 1 1/16 mile main track trip worth 50 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. Conditions were excellent at the Hallandale Beach oval, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70's. As expected Mohaymen was sent off as the 2-5 favorite, undefeated in 4 career starts including the Nashua, Remsen, and Holy Bull (all G2). In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Zulu, undefeated in 2 starts and making his stakes debut, and 6-1 third choice Awesome Banner, winner of the Hutcheson (G3) and the Swale (G2).
Mohaymen starts to draw away in the stretch
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 6 Mohaymen Alvarado 2.80 2.10 2.10 2 Zulu Velazquez 3.20 2.60 1 Fellowship Lezcano 3.40 Winning Time: 1:42.84 $2 Exacta 6-2 9.20 $1 Trifecta 6-2-1 15.10 $1 Superfecta 6-2-1-4 38.10Results Chart
Left: Mohaymen in the winner's circle with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin second from the left. McLaughlin said, "It's special. It's more nerve-wracking each race because we're four-for-four going into today and you never know what's going to happen going forward. He's obviously a very talented colt. We just hope we don't have any mishaps in a race like a horse bumping into him or something like that. We're going to take one race at a time and we are looking at the Florida Derby in five weeks."
Right: Mohaymen's handlers celebrate as they lead him back to the barns.
Left: Mohaymen in the paddock before the race.
Right: Mohaymen in the post parade. Winning jockey Junior Alvarado said, "I was a little wide, there was a little bumping and I didn't want to strangle him ant take him back right away and give it easily to the other horses, but he settled nice for me. By the 5/8 pole he started to get into a nice rhythm, that gear, and he started pulling on me, asking for the next step. I just let him cruise around and he was doing it very nicely. I didn't want to hold him back."
Left: Second place finisher Zulu was fractious in the post parade. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "I thought he ran super. He put in a formidable effort against a very good horse. I was proud of his effort. He was second-best today."
Right: Third place finisher Fellowship returns after the race under jockey Jose Lezcano. The Stanley Gold trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 10 starts, earning $468,340 for owner-breeder Jacks or Better Farm, Inc.
The $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies is the first Florida race in the Kentucky Oaks Championship Series worth 50 points to the winner of the 1 mile main track trip. Cathryn Sophia, undefeated in 3 starts including the Forward Gal (G2) last out, was the 1-5 favorite in the field of 6 over 5-1 Dearest, undefeated in 2 starts, and 11-2 Lewis Bay, winner of the Demoiselle (G2). 107-1 outsider R Girls a Charmer was quickest away through an opening quarter in 24.05 before Dearest took over through fractions of 47.12 and 1:11.88. On the turn, Cathryn Sophia, 4th early, swept to the lead 3 wide. Under a hand ride by Javier Castellano, she powered away to win by 7 lengths over Lewis Bay in 1:36.61. It was another 3/4 lengths back to Dearest third.
Left: Cathryn Sophia in the winner's circle. Winning trainer John Servis said, "It's crazy. I've had some nice fillies over time, but to have a horse like Smarty Jones and to have a filly like this, it doesn't happen, not for a guy from Parx. It's very exciting. I think she's just now coming into herself. Timing-wise, May might be her time." Owner Chuck Zacney added, "The pool got a little deeper with talent and she showed her ability today. We love Florida and five weeks from now is the Gulfstream Park Oaks. That will be her next for her."
Right: Cathryn Sophia circles after the race. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "She did it really easy. I liked the way she started the first quarter mile. She was never rank or anything like that. I covered up behind horses, and when I asked her she took off. I can put her with the best, top quality horses in the country the way she did it."
Left: Second place finisher Lewis Bay returns after the race under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 2 wins and 2 seconds in 4 starts, earning $279,600 for owner-breeder Alpha Delta Stables, LLC.
Right: Third place finisher Dearest in the post parade with jockey Edgard Zayas in the irons. The Gilberto Zerpa trainee improved her record to 2 wins and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $66,600 for owner Gelfenstein Farm.
The $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) featured a field of 8 older horses going 1 mile on the turf. Fort Lauderdale (G2) winner Heart to Heart was the 9-10 favorite over 4-1 Avanzare, 8th in the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2), and 9-2 Long on Value, unraced since 5th in last year's Poker (G3). Jockey Julien Leparoux sent Heart to Heart to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 23.86, 48.01, and 1:11.45 while pressed by Avanzare and stalked by Long on Value. Into the stretch, Heart to Heart opened up by 2 lengths through 7/8 in 1:22.44. Kept to task by Leparoux, Heart to Heart cruised to a 2 1/2 length win in 1:33.52. It was a neck back from Long on Value to late-running 11-2 Divisidero third.
Left: Heart to Heart in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Brian Lynch said, "He runs the turn so well, that's a real asset to him. By the time you get to him, he's stolen a couple lengths. When you've watched him enough and those little ears get to fluttering back and forth, you know he's traveling nicely. Julien just knows how much gas is in the tank. The horse has come into himself as a 5-year-old, he's gotten bigger and stronger."
Right: Heart to Heart in the post parade. Lynch added that he will start next in the Makers 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland. "It's probably a good time of year to have a miler come into form, and if you can pull off a race like that, they're guaranteed to have a little life when it's all said and done. Someone will stand him somewhere."
Left: Second place finisher Long on Value in the post parade with Florent Geroux in the irons. The Bill Mott trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 19 starts, earning $590,298 for owners Wachtel Stable and George Kerr.
Right: Third place finisher Divisidero returns after the race with Edgar Prado aboard. The Buff Bradley trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 2 thirds in 6 starts, earning $345,550 for owner Gunpowder Farms LLC.
Immediately before the Fountain of Youth, a field of 13 three-year-olds contested the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3) over 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Awad Stakes runner-up Converge was the 5-2 favorite over 9-2 Kismet's Heels, still a maiden after 2 starts, and 7-1 J R's Holiday, winner of the Kitten's Joy Stakes. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione sent 168-1 longest shot American Phantom to the lead through fractions of 23.11, 47.27, and 1:11.19 over the firm course while pressed by 9-1 Giant Run and stalked by 9-1 Scholar Athlete. Into the stretch Giant Run moved up to take over the lead through 1 mile in 1:34.82. Converge, 12th early, rallied steadily and came through on the rail to win by 3/4 length in 1:40.64. It was a nose back to 11-1 Ousby third.
Left: Converge heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I had a beautiful trip. I have to give Mr. Brown credit. I rode the horse the way he wanted to do it. It was the first time I rode the horse, I never was on the horse before."
Right: Converge in the post parade. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "We knew this horse doesn't have any early speed and Javier would have to tuck him in off the break. We just said, ‘Take your chances and try to find someone live to follow on the inside.' On this turf course, if you can work your way up and get within striking distance turning for home, it's ideal. He's shown early on that he's at home on turf, so we'll keep him on it."
Left: Second place finisher Giant Run and jockey Joe Bravo return after the race. The Tom Albertrani trainee improved his record to 1 win, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 6 starts, earning $71,740 for owners Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack.
Right: Third place finisher Ousby walks over before the race. The Marcus Vitali trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 6 starts, earning $55,800 for owner John Grossi's Racing Corp.
A field of 8 three-year-old fillies went 1 1/16 miles on the turf in the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3). Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Catch a Glimpse was the 3-5 favorite over 5-2 Lira, winner of the Ginger Brew Stakes, and 13-2 Hold Harmless, a maiden winner last out. 68-1 longest shot Vieja Luna was quickest away through fractions of 23.96 and 49.10 before Catch a Glimpse, second early, took over through 3/4 in 1:13.97. Through the lane Catch a Glimpse drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Lira in 1:42.63. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to 15-1 Gone Away third.
Left: Catch a Glimpse in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Florent Geroux said, "I was loaded going into the far turn. Going into the elbow she pointed her ears and lost focus just a little bit, then she just galloped home easy."
Right: Catch a Glimpse heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Mark Casse said, "She's obviously very talented and she'll get even better as she goes on. It was good (return) and we're excited to have her back, and we look to move forward from here." Assistant Norm Casse added, "I think she was going so fast around the turn she kind of bore out a little."
Left: Second place finisher Lira in the post parade with Javier Castellano aboard. The Todd Pletcher trainee improved her record to 3 wins and 1 second in 4 starts, earning $154,315 for owner Mathis Stable LLC.
Right: Third place finisher Gone Away returns after the race under Julien Leparoux. The Michael Matz trainee improved her record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $47,950 for owner Augustin Stable.
The first graded stakes on Saturday was the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (G3) for older horses going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) and Sunshine Millions Sprint winner X Y Jet was the 1-2 favorite in the field of 7 over 9-2 Ready for Rye, 7th in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1), and 7-1 Viva Majorca, third in the Forego (G1). Jockey Emisael Jaramillo sent X Y Jet straight to the front and he set fractions of 21.84 and 43.92 while pressed by 14-1 Trouble Kid and stalked by 8-1 Candip. In the stretch, X Y Jet opened up my 3 lengths through 3/4 in 1:08.97. Candip attempted to close to no avail as X Y Jet finished 1 1/4 lengths clear in 1:15.95. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to late-running Ready for Rye third.
Left: X Y Jet in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Emisael Jaramillo said, "He stumbled when he left the gate. He didn't break good today. After he stumbled, he gathered himself and he made the lead. They put pressure on him, but when they looked him in the eye, he got in the bridle. When he turned for home, he got in a different gear. In the lane, it looked like he was waiting on horses, but he has so much class, when I called on him, he just drew away again."
Right: X Y Jet heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Jorge Navarro said, "You know what, he likes a challenge. If you look at it, every time he got beat last year he got beat by a nose, a head. I knew he was going to come right back," Navarro said. "I'm going to keep him happy now. In a way, the 43 I kind of loved it because I'm not planning to do anything with him right now. I'm going to keep him happy, that's it. I'm going to go to Dubai (for the Golden Shaheen) and go on a vacation."
Left: Second place finisher Candip and jockey Tyler Gaffalione return after the race. The Michael Tomlinson trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds in 20 starts, earning $206,204 for owner K Town Partners.
Right: Third place finisher Ready for Rye in the paddock before the race. The Tom Albertrani trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 11 starts, earning $480,760 for owner Chalk Racing.
The first race of the card was the $75,000 Texas Glitter Stakes for 3-year-olds sprinting 5 furlongs on the turf. 5-2 second choice Manhattan Dan was sent to the front by Javier Castellano through fractions of 21.49 and 43.80 while stalked by 2-1 favorite Noholdingback Bear. In the stretch, Manhattan Dan drew off to win by 5 1/4 lengths in a time of 54.97. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 8-1 Monster Bea third.
The $100,000 Sand Springs Stakes featured a field of 11 older fillies and mares going 1 mile on the turf. 7-1 Daring Kathy set the pace of 22.71, 45.65, and 1:09.46 while pressed by 34-1 Unbridled Courage and stalked by 3-1 second choice Celestine. Entering the lane, Celestine gained a short lead through 7/8 in 1:21.37 before tiring. 13-1 Faufiler, last for the first 5/8 mile, circled the field into the stretch and outfinished 5-2 favorite Partisan Politics to win by a length in 1:33.01. It was another 1/2 length back to Celestine third.
Winning trainer Graham Motion said, "I thought her last race was just a complete disaster," Motion summed up. "It was a bad night, it rained hard, the turf was very soft, we kind of hustled her out of there to get her in the race and it was just a disaster. I told Edgar today there was no pressure. His idea was to tuck her in and save the ground because you've got no shot from the 13-hole saving ground otherwise. When I saw the 45 and change, I felt pretty good."
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