The road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve heats up this weekend, as top Triple Crown hopefuls convene at Gulfstream Park for the Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth Stakes. The historic race attracts a competitive field of 3-year-olds each year and this year is expected to include the likes of Hidden Scroll, Signalman, Code of Honor, and more.
Read on for nine must-know facts about the South Florida race on Saturday.
1. The first Fountain of Youth was won by Twenty Thirty back in 1945, making this year the 74th edition of the historic race.
2. The race offers a purse of $400,000 and a total of 85 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. Last year’s winner Promises Fulfilled took home $238,080 of the purse plus 50 points.
3. The race has been won by the betting favorite just twice in the last 10 years: odds-on choice Mohaymen in 2016 and 7-5 shot Soldat in 2011.
4. Thirteen Fountain of Youth runners later won the Kentucky Derby, with five of them winning both races. Orb was the last to do so, winning the 2013 Fountain of Youth and Kentucky Derby. Orb’s trainer Shug McGaughey has Code of Honor in this year’s race.
5. The Fountain of Youth is a prep for Gulfstream Park’s biggest Derby prep, the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby. Fourteen horses have won both races, including Orb (2013), Scat Daddy (2007), and High Fly (2005) in recent years.
6. Jockey John Velazquez has more wins in the race than any other active jockey, with four. He’s tied with retired rider Jerry Bailey as the winningest all-time jockeys in the race.
7. Two horses have won the race via disqualification: First Samurai after Corinthian was disqualified in 2006, and Itsaknockout in 2015 when Upstart was disqualified.
8. In 1996, longshot Built for Pleasure won the race at odds of 143-1, paying $288.20 for every $2 win bet. He went on to finish 19th in the Kentucky Derby and wouldn’t win another stakes race in the rest of his 33-race career.
9. No horse has run the 1 1/16-mile race faster than Sensitive Prince, who crossed the finish line with a final time of 1:41 in 1978.