02/18/2013 5:57PM

Gulfstream Park: Fountain of Youth lures 11, including He's Had Enough

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Tom Keyser
He's Had Enough was cross-entered in the Fountain of Youth and the Risen Star, but trainer Doug O'Neill said it "looks like we’re going to head to Gulfstream."

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – A surprisingly large field of 11 3-year-olds passed the entry box Monday for Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth, although just how many will actually make it into the starting gate remains to be seen.

The Grade 2 Fountain of Youth is one of three graded stakes on Saturday’s card along with the $250,000 Davona Dale for 3-year-old fillies and the $150,000 Canadian Turf.

The large field, which includes favored Violence and late entrant He’s Had Enough, even caught racing secretary Dan Bork a bit off guard.

“We were expecting somewhere in the range of six to seven horses for the race, so obviously we had a few late additions, which naturally came as a pleasant surprise,” Bork said.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Trainer Doug O’Neill cross-entered He’s Had Enough on Monday in both the Fountain of Youth and Saturday’s Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds and did not draw well in either race. He’s Had Enough got post 9 for the Fountain of Youth and post 12 among the 15 3-year-olds entered for the Risen Star. Both races will be decided at 1 1/16 miles.

“It looks like we’re going to head to Gulfstream,” said O’Neill, who trains He’s Had Enough for Paul Reddam.“I talked it over with Paul, and we decided that weather-wise it may be rainy this weekend in New Orleans, and post position-wise, although I realize the outside can be brutal down there, everything just leans towards us coming to Gulfstream.”

He’s Had Enough, who was scheduled to fly to south Florida on Tuesday, was beaten just a head in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by champion 2-year-old Shanghai Bobby. He is coming off a third-place finish behind Flashback in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis at Santa Anita on Feb. 2.

“He bounced out of it great, and we just figured when you’re doing good, you should run,” O’Neill said. “He hasn’t brought the a.m. to the p.m. yet, but I’m hoping to see him do that on Saturday, and if he can get a piece, we’re back in the game.”

Violence, undefeated in three starts at 2, will be heavily favored to win the Fountain of Youth and earn the 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points that go to the winner of the race. Violence will break from post 3 under jockey Javier Castellano.

With a short run to the first turn in races carded at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream, several trainers may have to reconsider their options after drawing outside posts for the Fountain of Youth. Two other late additions to the lineup, Sam Davis winner Falling Sky and the Calder-based Sr. Quisqueyano, will begin from posts 10 and 11, if the field remains intact.

John Terranova, who trains Falling Sky, said: “At this point, I haven’t talked it over with the owners, but he’s got good gate speed, enough to put himself in a good spot, so I’m not that concerned about the post. He drew outside at Tampa, where they also have a short run to the turn, and it didn’t affect him there in the Sam Davis, so I don’t feel it should be a problem. There’s also some talk one or two in there may come out, so that would move us in a couple of spots.”

Orb, who will break from the rail, was the only member of the Fountain of Youth field to work Monday, breezing an easy half-mile in 49 seconds at Payson Park. Trainer Shug McGaughey named John Velazquez to replace Orb’s regular rider, Joel Rosario, who has taken the call for Eddie Plesa Jr. aboard Speak Logistics.

Six potential starters for the Fountain of Youth turned in their final preps Sunday morning at Palm Meadows, including Violence, who went five furlongs in 1:00.36 in company with stablemate Palace Malice, who will run Saturday in the Risen Star.

Violence’s work was a bullet on a tab that also included potential Fountain of Youth runners Elmutahid (1:00.46), Majestic Hussar (1:00.60), Sky Captain (1:01.01), and Cerro (1:01.48). Falling Sky breezed a half-mile the same morning in 49.95.

The imposing presence of Dreaming of Julia limited the starting lineup for the Grade 2 Davona Dale to only five. Dreaming of Julia suffered her only setback in four starts in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies when finishing third behind Beholder.

Lady Banks is the only other stakes winner in the Davona Dale field. Private Ensign, Live Lively, and Twice Told Tale complete the lineup.