02/25/2009 1:00AM

Big field and a surprise for Fountain of Youth

Email

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The quality of the field for Saturday's $250,000 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park has been well documented, although the presence of Derby Watch members Capt. Candyman Can, This Ones for Phil, Notonthesamepage, and Beethoven did little to scare away the opposition.

A full field of 12 3-year-olds was drawn Wednesday for the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, which will be run at a mile for the first time in the illustrious 63-year history of the race.

The most surprising name in the box at entry time was Take the Points. Trainer Todd Pletcher has been targeting Santa Anita's Sham Stakes, which will also be run on Saturday, for Take the Points's start. But when the colt's flight to Southern California had mechanical problems and did not leave as scheduled on Wednesday, Pletcher decided to keep his options open and enter Take the Points in both races.

"I've been told the mechanical issues have been taken care of and the flight will leave at 6 a.m. on Thursday," Pletcher said Wednesday. "And if that's the case, we'll be on it, because I think the Sham is a better spot for us than the Fountain of Youth for a number of reasons.

"But to run in California, he's got to get out in the morning. If not, we'll run here, because scheduling-wise, if we're going to get him to the Derby, I think it's in his best interests to have a start this weekend."

Take the Points, an impressive allowance winner going a mile earlier in the meet, drew post 4 for the Fountain of Youth. With his regular jockey Edgar Prado already committed to ride This Ones for Phil, Take the Points will be ridden by Chris DeCarlo if he starts in the Fountain of Youth.

The draw elicited mixed emotions from the trainers of the two horses in the field with the highest Beyer Speed Figures, This Ones for Phil and Notonthesamepage. This Ones for Phil, who earned a 116 Beyer in winning the Sunshine Millions Dash, will break from the far outside in post 12, while Notonthesamepage, who earned a 114 Beyer for his runaway victory in the Spectacular Bid on opening day here, will begin from post 3.

"I love being on the outside," said This Ones for Phil's trainer, Rick Dutrow. "I just wish it was the outside in a seven-horse field and not 12. But it's still good. Just where I want to be."

Wesley Ward Jr., who trains Notonthesamepage, had the opposition reaction to his draw.

"It's not what I wanted," Ward said. "I wish I could swap posts with Dutrow. This kind of forces our hand a little."

The remainder of the field, in post position order, is: Bee Cee Cee, Theregoesesjo, Jack Spratt, Rocketing Returns, Beethoven, Break Water Edison, Capt. Candyman Can, Taqarub, and Quality Road.

Capt. Candyman Can could go off as a slight favorite off his victory in the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes earlier in the meet. He worked an easy half-mile in 50 seconds at Palm Meadows on Wednesday.