Kentucky Derby Countdown

The road to the Kentucky Derby takes a significant path this Saturday night, with the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream - live on Sky Sports Racing - going to post. As ever, American expert Peter Fornatale has you covered.

  • Saturday 29 February
  • Blog
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For a long time, the Florida Derby has been arguably the key prep race for the Kentucky Derby, and it’s certainly the key Derby prep for horses not trained by Bob Baffert. In the last seven seasons, Maximum Security, Always Dreaming, Nyquist, and Orb all won (or finished first past the post) in the race.

The key prep for the Florida Derby is the Fountain of Youth, which takes place at Gulfstream on Saturday night, and is available to be watched live on Sky Sports Racing Stateside at approximately 11:04.

It’s an interesting contest where I think we’ll be able to find a bet. That runner is CHANCE IT.

Connections were displeased with his far outside draw in the field of 12 – though a look at the statistics say the outside draw is maybe not as bad as it seems. At this distance over the past five years, the three outside draws win at only around 8 percent, but that’s not that much less than you expect them to on the raw numbers.

I believe a colt with Chance It’s potential should be able to overcome the post.

For one thing, the Saffie Joseph, Jr. trainee has tactical speed and should be able to position himself where his jockey wants in the early running. There is plenty of speed signed on but maybe Tyler Gaffalione can position him at the head of the second flight.

When last seen in the afternoon, he won the Mucho Macho Man Stakes with a good time figure, confirming the promise he’d shown beating up on Florida-breds in his previous start. The form of the Mucho Macho Man is working out well with Sole Volante coming back to win in the Sam Davis and Smash Factor Coming back to win an allowance.

It’s my hope that the concerns about the post keep Chance It’s price nice and square. We’ve seen this before where the market overreacts to a potentially tricky post, ignoring other pertinent information and creating an overlay.

The other thing that will help is the presence of Dennis’ Moment in here, making his first start since the debacle that was the BC Juvenile, where after making an unbelievable impression all week, he lost his start at the break by falling to his nose.

There’s still a chance that Dennis’ Moment will be able to stamp himself among the best of his generation – he was very impressive at two. But his recent works, which have been available to watch online, haven’t been overly impressive.

He’s looked fine, but not like the fire-breather I recall seeing at Santa Anita when I was out there writing my Breeders’ Cup diary. For me, he’s going to have to show me he’s still got it.

Another storyline to follow is how well Ete Indien runs in this spot. He’s got the formline to Tiz The Law, who is among the current Derby favorites. He’s got a chance in his own right but I worry about how much speed there is for him, with the likes of As Seen On TV (second in the Mucho Macho Man) posted to his inside.

For me, it’s Chance It or bust in this spot.

Kentucky Derby Countdown
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