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Super Screening the FOY

2015-02-19_17-04-30

SUPER SCREENING THE KENTUCKY DERBY PREPS

G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes

This key prep features 8 three year-olds and draws 5 of the top 6 finishers in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes run at Gulfstream Park a month ago. It is the first of the Kentucky Derby preps to offer 50 points to the winner which essentially ensures a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. Of the new shooters, Todd Pletcher’s trainee, #5 Itsaknockout will take some interest off that really nice looking win back in early January. The Super Screener will be taking a hard look at #4 Gorgeous Bird, a sharp runaway winner of an Optional Claiming event run on the same day as the Holy Bull. This race features the winner of the Holy Bull, Upstart, which is currently the #1 ranked horse on 2015 Horse Racing Nation Kentucky Derby rankings while Frosted sits in the #12 spot http://www.horseracingnation.com/p/c/kentucky_derby_2015_contenders.

Super Screener projects a very similar set up to the Holy Bull Stakes with #2 Bluegrass Singer setting the pace on the rail with #1 Juan and Bina, #5 Itsaknockout and #7 Upstart pressing the pace. The pace projects a bit quicker than par but pressure will be moderate so no one will steal the race and a deep closer will struggle to catch the win spot.

The Super Screener will favor horses with two-turn dirt route experience, presser to off-the-pace energy distribution profiles and favorable progressions in form cycle. Under that criteria, #7 Upstart, #5 Itsaknockout and #6 Frosted make up the top three win contenders. #4 Gorgeous Bird projects to have another move forward here and will make an impact at the bottom of exotics. #6 Frosted projects to be the horse that will produce the biggest move forward of this bunch. #2 Bluegrass Singer looks like he may have peaked and could really use a break after a steady eight-race campaign to date.

Rating the field, we come up with the following Super Screener assessment:

WIN CONTENDERS

#7 Upstart 4-5

#5 Itsaknockout 5-1

 

BOARD HITTERS

#6 Frosted 10-1

#4 Gorgeous Bird 12-1

Let’s break down the Fountain of Youth Stakes and assess the quality of this Derby Prep race:

Gulfstream Park – G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes – 1 1/16 miles

Field Size = 8

Number of Graded Stakes Winners: 1

Number of Graded Stakes Placed: 4

Number of Graded Stakes Starters: 6

BRIS Pace Par:  First Call = 93; Second Call = 101; Final = 101

Projected Pace:  First Call = 97; Second Call = 106; Final = 106

Energy Distribution Profile of Field: Favors horses that will press or come from off the pace

Morning Line Favorite: Upstart (CURRENT HRN RANKING: 1)

Super Screener Top Three Picks: Upstart, Itsaknockout, Frosted

Hit-the-Board Bomber Pick:  Gorgeous Bird

SUPER SCREENER QUALITY RATING = A

Notes:  #7 Upstart ran a lifetime top in the Holy Bull Stakes last out. It will be interesting to see if he can hold that top or perhaps regresses a bit. Even if he finishes second, he will be in great shape on the Kentucky Derby points system. No question, the margin of victory in the Fountain of Youth Stakes will be much narrower than the 5.5 lengths that separated Upstart and Frosted in the in the Holy Bull.

POST RACE RECAP

The race set up as anticipated with a quicker-than-par pace for this kind and our top two Super Screener choices finishing 1-2.  The hot pace took it’s toll on the front runners setting the race up well for the top two finishers.  They too were tired, especially Upstart who was lugging out late interfering with Itsaknockout and suffering the DQ.  Upstart was pretty tired coming out of the Holy Bull and this race had to take a lot out of him.  If he goes in the Florida Derby or elsewhere, the Super Screener will be discounting his chances.   Frammento ran a better than it looked stretch run.  No question he was motoring late but it was more of an optical illusion as those around him were tiring badly.  We are taking this race down from Super Screener Quality Rating of an A to a final rating of a B+

CHART: http://www.equibase.com/premium/chartEmb.cfm?track=GP&raceDate=02/21/2015&cy=USA&rn=11

WINNER: Itsaknockout (via disqualification of first place finisher, Upstart)

BRIS PACE/FINAL PARS:                                 1st Call = 93; 2nd Call = 101; Final = 101

BRIS PROJECTED PACE/FINAL PARS:        1st Call = 97; 2nd Call = 106: Final = 106

BRIS ACTUAL PACE/FINAL PARS:                1st Call = 98 ; 2nd Call = 109; Final = 95

TRACK BIAS: Slightly favored those near the front.

TOUGH TRIP: Bluegrass Singer cut brutal fractions and had nothing left in the end.  Itsaknockout and Upstart but ran close to that hot pace and were clearly tired by mid-stretch.

IMPRESSIVE EFFORT: None

SUPER SCREENER PRE-RACE QUALITY RATING: A

SUPER SCREENER POST-RACE QUALITY RATING B+