It’s a big stakes day on Saturday with multiple events throughout the country. From the west coast to the east, there is something for everybody today. The most anticipated event is at Gulfstream Park with the running of the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. 2). It isn’t the biggest monetary wise, but a prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, with 50 points awarded to the winning team for a win.
The biggest prize today is the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (Gr. 3) at Oaklawn Park. Oaklawn is also home to the second biggest race, the running of the $600,000 Razorback Handicap (Gr. 3). Gulfstream Park is home to the most stakes races on Saturday with nine events.
I am sure there has to be some interest at Gulfstream Park today, so we’ll head over to Hallandale Beach and see what we can do with this card. There are a total of 14 races at Gulfstream Park. It’s going to be a packed backside at Gulfstream on Saturday in Hallandale Beach. You can find $1,775,000 in prize money available on this card. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park selections and Fountain of Youth Stakes pick for February 27, 2021.
Post Time: 11:58 a.m. EST
A mile for a $60,000 purse will get us started on the dirt at Gulfstream Park. There are ten horses expected to participate in the race, with Beau Luminaire and Nocturnal held in high regard on my shortlist. Beau Luminaire has been a consistent runner, and most certainly going to put a charge into this race.
He has placed 2nd in five straight performances, and has finished top-2 in seven of his previous eight attempts. Beau Luminaire recorded the lone win of his career on February 26, 2020. He defeated Felix the Fox by 7 lengths in a commanding win for a $50,000 purse. In his most recent appearance, Beau Luminaire placed 2nd for the fifth straight time.
Beau Luminaire finished 1 ½ lengths behind Microsecond in a $51,000 assignment. Solid effort for Beau Luminaire. If he can show some improvement on Saturday, then a win shouldn’t be too far away. In his previous two workouts, Beau Luminaire was timed at 49.45 seconds twice at 4 furlongs. Nocturnal likely provides Beau Luminaire with the biggest challenge today.
Nocturnal is off to a quick start in her career, finishing 2nd and 1st in two performances. As a first-time runner, Nocturnal placed 2nd behind a very strong horse in Dr Post for a $50,000 prize on March 29. Not a bad effort to finish 1 ¼ lengths behind the heavy favorite.
That assignment was too easy for Dr Post, but Nocturnal held in there well. In his next outing, Nocturnal cleared No More by 3 ¾ lengths for a $47,000 win on January 15. He’s heading in the right direction early in his career, and could be a repeat winner on Saturday.
Race 9 – Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes
Post Time: 3:27 p.m. EST
In our first stakes selection at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, we land on Race 9 with the running of the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (Gr. 2). This is a Grade 2 race which features some quality runners. We have to take Tax and Performer seriously in this event. Tax has appeared in ten straight graded events, including the Belmont Stakes in 2019.
He finished 4th in that big race, and is 4 for 14 overall in his career. In his most recent victory, Tax ended a four-race winless straight by winning the $100,000 Holiday Stakes (Gr. 3) by 4 ½ lengths on December 12. This was after Tax failed in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (Gr. 2) for 6th. That was much too easy, so Tax went all the way up to the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (Gr. 1) on January 23.
I don’t know about attempting to win that race, as Tax was never a threat and never expected to be, but he’s back down in a manageable race. He looked great on February 19 in a 4-furlong workout with a time of 47.95 seconds. Performer is likely going to give Tax the most to think about in this race.
He has six wins in eight outings in his career, and six wins in his last seven attempts. Performer’s biggest assignment came on December 5 with the running of the $250,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (Gr. 1). He ran well to show 3rd, but disappointed as the betting favorite. Performer responded on January 23 in the $125,000 Fred W. Hooper Stakes (Gr. 3). That was a win by a neck for Performer to prevail in the stretch. It should be close with Tax, but I give the edge to Performer
Race 14 – Fountain of Youth Stakes
Post Time: 6:10 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
The running of the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. 2) is the most important race in the US on Saturday. This is a prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, with 50 points to the winning team. 50-20-10-5 is how the points are distributed for this race, so even 2nd would be a big win for a horse.
Fire At Will and Greatest Honour come across as the best horses in this field. They will likely be involved in the stretch run in this one. Fire At Will is hot at the moment with three straight wins, including a Grade 2 and most recently, a Grade 1 win. Overall, Fire At Will has gone 6th, 1st, 1st, 1st.
In his first graded win, Fire At Will beat Public Sector by 2 lengths in the $150,000 Pilgrim Stakes (Gr. 2). Fire At Will followed up to beat Battleground by 3 lengths in the $1,000,000 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Gr. 1). That was impressive for a horse that was bought for $97,000.
Greatest Honour is going to be a load to handle. Fire At Will is primarily a turf runner, so the dirt could prove to be a much different scenario for him. Greatest Honour has finished 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st in his career and continues to show improvement. He is coming off a win in the $200,000 Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. 3).
It was an easy assignment for Greatest Honour, as he swept through the competition for a 5 ¾ length win. He hit the gas in the stretch to go from 5th to 1st at the wire. Jose Ortiz timed that race beautifully. Put this race on turf and I would be on Fire At Will, but on the main track, expect Greatest Honour to feel most comfortable.