ascot aug08
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Sunday, February 24, 2008


Have you ever drank from the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? It's a weird-tasting water that's for sure (like hard boiled eggs) - it's a neat place to visit if you are ever near St. Augustine, Florida.

Anyway, there is a preview from the MIAMI HERALD of the big race today, my selections and some lovely pictures of the first foal of GONE FISHIN - who stands in Ontario. We'll put some pictures of his handsome first boy over the next couple of days.


Colts get a Derby preview

Six contenders for the Kentucky Derby are in Sunday's field, and Nick Zito has War Pass, another top colt, in a later race.

Posted on Sun, Feb. 24, 2008


Should Anak Nakal or Cool Coal Man stake trainer Nick Zito to victory Sunday in Gulfstream Park's $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes, the celebration will be accelerated.

Those 3-year-olds are among 25 in The Daily Racing Form's highly scrutinized, up-to-date assessment of Kentucky Derby aspirants.

In fact, the field of 12 for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth includes six on the Form's list of contenders for the May 2 Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.

But everybody's top-rated 3-year-old colt, another Zito charge, will launch his eagerly anticipated 2008 debut in a modest, $60,000 allowance race scheduled to start less than a half-hour after the Fountain of Youth.

War Pass, Robert LaPenta's unbeaten 2007 Eclipse Award-winner as the nation's top 2-year-old, will meet five undistinguished rivals in a one-mile tuneup that almost is as intriguing as the program's wide-open feature.

Zito, a Hall of Famer on a quest for his third Kentucky Derby winner, freely acknowledges that horses' advancement from 2 years old to 3 almost dictates th

at handicappers start with a clean sheet of paper.

The mercurial nature of thoroughbred racing certainly doesn't elude one the sport's most prominent ambassadors.

Being among the biggest blips on the Derby radar, as Zito once again is, can be good or bad, he conceded. Breaking into a smile, he elaborated: ``Could be the good and the bad and the ugly.''


Three years ago, Zito won the Fountain of Youth and the $1 million Florida Derby with High Fly, saddled a record-tying five entrants in the Kentucky Derby -- and tasted ashes, with a best finish of seventh.

Even so, if your handicapping sheet is blank, you could pencil in War Pass -- along with such favorites as Zito's pair, and the Bill Mott-trained and favored Court Vision -- and be ready to adjust.

Court Vision, to be ridden by 2007 Eclipse Award-winning jocke

y Garrett Gomez, has won three of four starts and was runner-up in the other. Cool Coal Man has three victories in six starts. Anak Nakal finished first or second in all three of his starts as a 2-year-old.

But history shows that the least-heralded entrant in an early Kentuck

y Derby prep such as the Fountain of Youth could capture the sport's top prize the first Saturday in May. The eventual winner might be the tiniest of blips on the radar at this stage.

''Horses get good [suddenly],'' Zito said of this stage of a colts' maturing process. ``You hope they get good at the right time.''

Five years ago, trainer Barclay Tagg had a New York-bred gelding in training. The last gelding to have won a Kentucky Derby had been in 1929. And no New York-bred had ever worn the garland of roses. On top of that, Tagg's gelding ''ran horrible'' in Gulfstream's Holy Bull prep.

But two months later, Funny Cide defied history and justified Tagg's faith by defeating 6-5 favorite Empire Maker and 15 others to win the 129th Kentucky


Tagg has entered a Fountain of Youth long shot Sunday. Elysium Fields, owned by Robert Evans, did not win as a 2-year-old but showed promise. Then he stomped to an eight-length maiden victory at Gulfstream on Jan. 19.


''He doesn't have the numbers the other horses have,'' Tagg said, ``bu

t he's big and strong and fast and maturing all the time.''

Tagg won't be surprised to get a big effortSunday.

''You wouldn't want to get up to Derby time and never have put your money u

p and then find out you have a horse that's a world-beater,'' he said. ``Everybody's looking for that.''

Race distance dictated Zito's path for War Pass. The colt sired by Cherokee Run has had a layoff since romping to a 4 ¾-length victory in the 1 1/16th-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 27.

''The mile and one-eighth first time out [as a 3-year-old] wasn't what we wanted,'' Zito said. He tentatively plans to work through the mile-and-1/16th Tam

pa Bay Derby on March 16, and the mile-and-one-eighth Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 5 to get to the mile-and-one-quarter Derby.

Post time for the Fountain of Youth is 5:15 p.m., with War Pass' test at 5:44.


This is a good field of 12, very bettable with many possibilities. Surely COURT VISION is a serious horse as he only lost once last year and it was by half a length. His b

est effort of a 91 Beyer Figure is super but this won’t be the best race of his season today. Really like this Gulch colt but let’s look elsewhere.

MONBA has also been idle but is a good one too and hey, he’s out of an EASY GOER mare!

The pace should be hot enough for stalkers and closers so let’s take a couple of those ones who have raced this year.

ELYSIUM FIELDS (El Prado-Dreams, and cleverly named for the paradise land o

f the afterlife) was a booming winner of a maiden race which will be a key event. The Robert Evans homebred is light on Beyer Figures but he has a good late kick and a huge recent workout of 58 4/5.

COOL COAL MAN gets dropped by John Velazquez (who will ride Make t

he Point) byt was a steady winner off the layoff and he is a Mineshaft colt.

ADRIANO has never raced on dirt but his Polytrack outing at Keeneland last year was good and he won his season debut by more than 6 lengths.



Everyone at Stone Briar Stable and Hillside
Thoroughbreds is proud to
announce that Gone Fishin's first foal has arrived.

Born Feb 20th, 2008, the big, strong
correct colt is just like his sire. pictured
here at 3 days old.
The dam is One Eyed Queens and she
 is to be bred back to Gone   Fishin.


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