Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders: Fountain of Youth analysis with MOHAYMEN (Video)

My top ranked Kentucky Derby 2016 contender Mohaymen tries to run his record to 5-for-5 in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Feb 27.

fountain of youth entries

The Fountain of Youth is worth a total of 85 Derby points (50-20-10-5).

Mohaymen is the deserving morning line favorite and seemingly has every advantage on Saturday. The outside post should allow jockey Junior Alvarado to watch the pace unfold and pick a spot to stalk/pounce while steering clear of trouble.

Graded Recaps (2016 Derby Points Races)

G2 Risen Star (2-20-16, 90 BSF): Gun Runner was ready to roll off a layoff for Asmussen. He sat a nice tactical trip and held on by a 1/2 length. He has a decent pedigree (Candy Ride – Quiet Giant, by Giant’s Causeway) and is an interesting prospect if able to run faster next time. 40-1 longshot Forevamo rallied for the place and was gaining on the winner late. Show finisher Mo Tom was making a nice move before steadying sharply and that probably cost him a better placing. However, the late runner need will always need racing luck and pace help. Candy Boy set the pace and faded to 4th while well clear of the rest. Post time favorite Airoforce is likely off the Derby trail following a poor effort, his first try on fast dirt. Overall, I was not thrilled with this Derby prep.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders

(1) MOHAYMEN (Tapit – Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union) mohaymen silks 2016

Trainer (Kiaran Mclaughlin) – Owner (Shadwell Stable)

Latest Workout: 4f in :49.60 (23/42) at Palm Meadows on Feb 19.

Comments: The $2.2 million yearling purchase went 3-for-3 as a juvenile and rattled off back-to-back graded wins in the G2 Nashua and G2 Remsen, both at Aqueduct. He made his sophomore debut in the Holy Bull and did not disappoint with an easy stalk/pounce victory at the Gulf on Jan 30. He drew the outside post in a 6-horse field for the G2 Fountain of Youth on Saturday, Feb 27 and looms a short-priced favorite. He maintains his number one ranking, a spot he has occupied since I started my list on September 30, 2015.

Derby Points (20)  

(2) MOR SPIRIT (Eskendereya – Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union) more spirit silks 2016

Trainer (Bob Baffert) – Owner (Michael Lund Petersen)

Latest Workout: 4f in :48.60 (21/49) at Santa Anita Park on Feb 17.

Comments: Last year’s G1 Los Al Futurity picked up where he left off with another graded win in the G3 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb 6. Baffert’s improving stalker was supposed to work six furlongs on Feb 23 under Gary Stevens but the move was scrapped because Mor Spirit was wearing earplugs (mistakenly left in) and was unresponsive. They are supposed to work him again on Sunday, Feb 28 and the G2 San Felipe (March 12) remains a possibility. He stays put at #2, a spot he has occupied since 10-24-15.

Derby Points (24)

(3) BRODY’S CAUSE (Giant’s Causeway – Sweet Breanna, by Sahm) brody's cause silks 2016

Trainer (Dale Romans) – Owner (Albaugh Family Stable)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:01.16 (6/21) at Gulfstream Park on Feb 21.

Comments: The stretch runner looked good from off the pace in back-to-back wins at Churchill (one mile maiden race) and Keeneland (G1 Breeders’ Futurity). He worked his way through traffic to finish a decent 3rd in the BC Juvenile. He is wintering in Florida and figures to have two Derby preps, beginning with the G2 Tampa Bay Derby March 12 and ending with the G1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 9. My longtime #3 stays put.

Derby Points (14)

(4) GREENPOINTCRUSADER (Bernardini – Ava Knowsthecode, by Cryptoclearance) greenpointcrusader silks 2016

Trainer (Dominick Schettino) – Owner (St. Elias Stable)

Latest Workout: 4f in :49.30 (17/65) at Palm Meadows on Feb 20.

Comments: The G1 Champagne winner was too far back early as the favorite in the BC Juvenile and ended up a better than appears 7th after getting fanned very wide in the lane at Keeneland Oct 31. He exited the BC Juvenile with an eye ulcer, probably caused by flying dirt during the running of the race. He resurfaced in the Holy Bull and the patient sort surprisingly took up the running and was clearly second best. He retains his #4 ranking and his next start is undecided.

Derby Points (14)

(5) EXAGGERATOR (Curlin – Dawn Raid, by Vindication) exaggerator silks

Trainer (Keith Desormeaux) – Owner (Big Chief Racing, LLC)

Comments: He came back ready to roll in the San Vicente but so did Nyquist and he settled for a clear place finish after giving the champ a scare in mid-stretch. It was a solid beginning to his 3-year-old campaign and should set him up well for the San Felipe. I have moved him one spot ahead of Nyquist because I like the way Keith D is mapping out his sophomore campaign (nice distance progression) as opposed to one sprint and one route before the Derby.

Derby Points (16)

(6) NYQUIST (Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry)

Trainer (Doug O’Neill) – Owner (Reddam Racing LLC.)

Comments: The 2-year-old champion looked like a champ in his sophomore debut in the G2 San Vicente at seven furlongs. He ran fast throughout at Santa Anita on Feb 15, stopping the timer in 1:20.71 (100 BSF) and winning by 1.5 lengths over Exaggerator. He is expected to have his final Derby prep in the G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on April 2.

Derby Points (30)

(7) MATT KING COAL (Cool Coal Man – Donna Marie, by Came Home)

Trainer (Linda Rice) – Owner (Lady Sheila Stable)

Latest Workout: 6f in 1:14.75 (1/1) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on Feb 23.

Comments: Earned two of the better juvenile speed figures in a clear place finish at 8.5 furlongs at Belmont Oct 3 (93 BSF) and a 96 BSF for his easy flat mile wire job maiden win at that same venue Oct 29. Following a respiratory infection, he spiked a fever, missed the G3 Jerome on Jan 3, and went to the farm for a vacation. He returned to the work tab Feb 7 and is pointing to the G3 Gotham at Aqueduct March 5.

(8) CONQUEST BIG E (Tapit – Seeinsbelieven, by Carson City)

Trainer (Mark Casse) – Owner (Conquest Stables, LLC.)

Latest Workouts: 4f in :49 (16/56) at Palm Meadows on Feb 26. 5f bullet in 1:00.90 (1/12) at Palm Meadows on Feb 19.

Comments: The Holy Bull disappointment is behind him and it is put up or shut up time. He needs to step up and prove that he belongs in the graded ranks and must run big in his next start. The Casse barn is suddenly struggling on the Derby trail after Airoforce’s flop in the Risen Star.

Derby Points (1)

(9) SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS (Mineshaft – Uchitel, by Afleet Alex)

Trainer (Donnie K Von Hemel) – Owner (Samuel F. Henderson)

Comments: He replaced stablemate Synchrony on the list after rallying powerfully and going last-to-first in the G3 Southwest. He has fired Exacta shots in all six career starts and has a smart route-oriented pedigree. The G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 19 is next.

Derby Points (10)

(10) ZULU (Bernardini – Temporada, by Summer Squall)

Trainer (Todd Pletcher) – Owner (Stonestreet Stables)

Latest Workout: 4f in :48.21 (4/19) at Palm Meadows on Feb 21.

Comments: Easily captured both sprint starts at Gulfstream and he gets the acid test in the Fountain of Youth. His sire and dam sire both captured the Preakness Stakes and he should improve as distances increase. He is new to the list.

(11) MALIBU SUNSET (Bernardini – One Stormy Mama, by Storm Cat)

Trainer (Bob Baffert) – Owner (Gary and Mary West)

Latest Workout: 4f in :48.40 (10/36) at Santa Anita Feb 24.

Comments: He was unveiled as the 9-5 favorite in a six furlong special weight event at Fair Grounds on Jan 31 and it was a visually impressive win to say the least. After a bumpy beginning, he seized command and pulled away with every stride, crossing the line 10+ clear of the place finisher. He was hand ridden and earned a 92 Beyer Speed Figure. After his debut, he was transferred from Wayne Catalano to Bob Baffert and he has worked three times at Santa Anita Park. He is entered in the third race at Santa Anita on Sunday, Feb 28, a one mile Optional Claiming event. He is new to the list.

Honorable Mention: (12) Mo Tom, (13) Gun Runner, (14) Danzing Candy, (15) Destin, (16) Rafting, (17) I Will Score, (18) Shagaf, (19) Rally Cry, (20) Awesome Banner

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