JC / Railbird

Fountain of Youth Stakes

Itsfiftypoints for a Star

Kentucky Derby preps moved into the 50-point round with the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream and Risen Star at the Fair Grounds yesterday, and Itsaknockout and International Star both essentially secured places in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May with their respective wins. Charts, replays, speed figures, and the updated leaderboard are all available via the big Kentucky Derby prep schedule.

Itsaknockout was given a Beyer speed figure of 90 for the Fountain of Youth; he technically remains undefeated. Upstart, first to the wire, but disqualified and placed second for interfering in the stretch with the official winner, earned a Beyer of 95. Trainer Rick Violette called the stewards’ decision “very, very questionable,” and is considering sending Upstart to the Wood Memorial for his final prep, instead of starting him in the Florida Derby as planned.

For the Risen Star, International Star was given a 93 Beyer. He’s owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, yet not one of their many Kittens, being by 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. (A little note for Suffolk Downs players: He’s also a half-brother to a familiar name in the 2013-2014 entries — Jet Pack.)

Panning the Plan

Steve Davidowitz on To Honor and Serve in the Fountain of Youth:

Now that To Honor And Serve has begun his scheduled two race-prep campaign with a performance that leaves need for major improvement –- it will be amazing if Mott can get ‘Honor’ back on track for his second and final Derby prep. In my judgment, the gameplan already has backfired….

At the bottom line, I will root to be wrong about my thoughts on this subject. There is much talent involved here — equine and human talent, but I am quite sure that Billy Mott is not really happy with what he saw on Saturday.

Few were, watching the big colt close in :13.42 for third. “I thought he ran very well,” said jockey John Velazquez, “[he] just didn’t have the closing kick he usually does.” Validation for one bettor: I’m not big on Remsen winners.”