Champion Forte Returns on Action-Packed Saturday

Forte schooling at Gulfstream | Coglianese

Last year's champion 2-year-old colt and 'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence) kicks off his sophomore season in the GII Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park, one of 14 graded stakes races on tap Saturday.

The Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable colorbearer concluded his campaign with his third straight win at the top level in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland Nov. 4.

“It seems like he's gotten even better and better since [the Breeders' Cup],” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It's great to have won with the foundation he has and the experience he has going into these races.”

Last term's GI Champagne S. winner and fellow 'Rising Star' Blazing Sevens (Good Magic) also makes his first start of 2023. He was fourth after some trouble at the start for trainer Chad Brown in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

The Fountain of Youth field also includes Bill Mott-trained stablemates Rocket Can (Into Mischief) and Shadow Dragon (Army Mule), one-two across the line in the local prep GIII Holy Bull S. Feb. 4. The rail-drawn GIII Swale S. winner General Jim (Into Mischief) will be scratched, according to trainer Shug McGaughey.

The Fountain of Youth offers 100 GI Kentucky Derby points (50-20-15-10-5).

The stacked 14-race program at Gulfstream also features: the GII Davona Dale S., led by unbeaten 3-year-old filly Red Carpet Ready (Oscar Performance); the GII WinStar Gulfstream Park Mile S., headlined by last term's runaway GIII Dwyer S. winner and 'Rising Star' Charge It (Tapit); the GII Mac Diarmida S.; GIII Honey Fox S.; GIII Herecomesthebride S.; GIII Canadian Turf S.; and GIII The Very One S.

Big 'Cap Day at Santa Anita

The GI Santa Anita H. anchors a 12-race card at the Great Race Place Saturday. A wide-open field of 11 includes: GISWs Defunded (Dialed In), second last time in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S.; GI Clark S. winner Proxy (Tapit); and GI Hollywood Gold Cup S. winner There Goes Harvard (Will Take Charge); last out GII San Pasqual S. winner Newgrange (Violence); and last year's Big 'Cap second and third-place finishers Warrant (Constitution) and Stilleto Boy (Shackleford).

Sophomores, meanwhile, will take centerstage in the GII San Felipe S., which offers 50-20-15-10-5 points on the road to the Kentucky Derby.

Four horses formerly trained by Bob Baffert, including the top two on the morning-line in GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile third and GIII Sham S. third National Treasure (Quality Road) and $3.55-million EASMAY topper and last-out maiden winner Hejazi (Bernardini), will now be eligible to earn Derby points after transferring to the barn of trainer Tim Yakteen. Yakteen will also saddle comebacking GII Los Alamitos Futurity winner Practical Move (Practical Joke).

Geaux Rocket Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) dives right into the deep end for Hall of Famer Richard Mandella following a jaw-dropping debut victory going six furlongs Jan. 29. Skinner (Curlin), Grade I-placed as a maiden last term, kicked off his sophomore season with a visually impressive maiden win of his going a mile here Feb. 12.

Nine turf milers, led by 9-5 morning-line favorite Hong Kong Harry (Ire) (Es Que Love {Ire}), will line up in the GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile S. The Big 'Cap undercard also includes the GII Buena Vista S.

Derby Points on the Line in Gotham

A wide open and overflow field of 15 3-year-olds have been entered for Saturday's GIII Gotham S. going a one-turn mile at the Big A.

The two-for-two Eyeing Clover (Lookin At Lucky), favored at 4-1 on the morning-line, takes on stakes company for the first time for red-hot trainer Brad Cox.

Former Bob Baffert runners GII Los Al Futurity S. runner-up Carmel Road (Quality Road) and GII San Vicente S. third Fort Warren (Curlin) make their first starts for Tim Yakteen and Brittany Russell, respectively.

Lugan Knight (Goldencents) was a game last out winner over track and trip in the Jerome S. Jan. 7.

The Gotham carries 100 Kentucky Derby points (50-20-15-10-5).

Aqueduct's 10-race card also includes the GIII Tom Fool H. for older sprinters.

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