Kentucky Derby Betting: Fountain of Youth Stakes key Derby prep race

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

The Kentucky Derby is months away but key prep races that will decide the field are happening this weekend in the Fountain of Youth and Risen Star Stakes.

With just over two months to go to the Kentucky Derby, there is a pair of major preps on tap on Saturday at Gulfstream Park and Fair Grounds.

A race of particular interest will take place Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where a strong field of 13 three-year-olds battle it out in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes.

The Fountain of Youth Stakes, which produced last year's Kentucky Derby winner, is run at 1 1/6 miles on the main track.

Commissioner, who is two-for-three in his career for trainer Todd Pletcher and has moved up to 22-1 on most Kentucky Derby odds menus monitored by, is the morning-line favorite at 3/1. Pletcher has won three of the last seven editions of the Fountain of Youth.

Top Billing, also a career two-for-three, is the second choice at 7/2 for trainer Shug McGaughey, who won last year's race with Orb, who went on to win the Florida Derby and the Run for the Roses.

Commissioner, with Johnny Velazquez up top, will start from the one post, while Top Billing and Joel Rosario will take off from the 12 slot.

Winning the Fountain of Youth will be worth 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points; second place gets 20 points, third 10 and fourth is worth five points.

General a Rod, who won the one-mile Gulfstream Park Derby back on New Year's Day, is the third choice on the morning line at 5/1.

Wildcat Red, the winner as the 2/1 favorite at the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park three weeks ago, is listed at 6/1.

We Miss Artie, winner of the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland last October, is next at 8/1. Almost Famous, with Calvin Bo-Rail in the irons, follows at 10/1.

Rounding out the early Fountain of Youth betting board, C. Zee was lined at 12/1; Medal Count at 15/1; Florida-breds Best Plan Yet and East Hall, along with Hesinfront, at 20/1; and Casiquapo and Our Caravan at 30/1.

Last year Orb, who went on to take the 2013 Kentucky Derby, won the Fountain of Youth Stakes from the post, overtaking heavy favorite Violence down a staggering stretch run for the victory. In besting the field of nine Orb paid $12.80 to win, but because the big favorite finished second the $2 exacta only paid $26.40.

The Fountain of Youth Stakes, the 11th race on a super 12-race card Saturday at Gulfstream Park, is expected to go off around 5:30 pm ET.

New Kentucky Derby odds will be posted early next week after these two key prep races.

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