Union Rags made a smashing return to action and solidified his status as the early favorite for the 138th Kentucky Derby by romping to victory Sunday in the 68th running of the Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes.
After agonizing over the decision for several days, jockey Javier Castellano and his agent, Matt Muzikar, have chosen to ride Algorithms, not Union Rags, in Gulfstream Park's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 26.
Soldat left little doubt he's just as capable on a fast track as he is over slop or grass after leading from start to finish en route to a two-length victory over Gourmet Dinner in Saturday's $400,000 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.
Nominations are out for the four stakes races to be decided here on the weekend of Feb. 26, and the two most important names on those lists are not even in the most important race of that weekend, the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.
Trainer Todd Pletcher reports that Eskendereya is doing very well after his eye-catching performance in last Saturday's Grade 1 Wood Memorial and is back galloping over his winter base at the Palm Meadows training center.
The decision by Fair Grounds to rearrange its stakes schedule and push the Louisiana Derby back to March 27 did much more than simply motivate Gulfstream management to move the Grade 1 Florida Derby up a week to March 20.
While the focus of attention here at Gulfstream Park on Sunday will be on the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes and the 2010 debut of Eclipse Award champion She Be Wild, the undercard is easily the best of the meet.
Quality Road established himself as a leading Kentucky Derby candidate by turning back the previously undefeated Dunkirk through the stretch to win Saturday's $750,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in track-record time.