A big prep race ran this weekend. The Fountain of Youth Stakes pits top contenders in the Florida region against each other to help whittle the field for the Kentucky Derby.
This year's race was stacked with big names that didn't bring their 'A' games.
The card included top derby contenders: Court Vision, Z Humor, Monba, Anak Nakal and Cool Coal Man. Half of which will now need strong showing next time out or will be watching barnmates shoot for the roses and the stud life.
Cool Coal Man, who for some reason I find myself calling Cool Hand Luke, had an open, stalking trip with slow fractions from the leaders that allowed him to handedly take the stakes. However, Elysium Fields made a strong showing, proving that he belongs on the big stage. His kick at the end shows he can handle the distance.
Court Vision showed some pop at the end as a closer, but when it comes to closers no one beats Kyra Sedgwick, I mean Pyro. Monba, arch-nemesis Todd Pletcher's seemingly only horse for the derby this season, was pinched and faded. Anak Nakal never fired.
CCM had a good run, but a trip like that won't come in the derby. I was hoping the Fountain of Youth would shift out some big name posers, but I am afraid that they will all have another shot at the Florida Derby in March. But, I will have my good eye on that Elysium Fields next time.