Updated on 09/17/2011 11:29PM

Hoping to draw an inside post


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A field of 10 3-year-olds is expected for Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 at Gulfstream Park, and that means one or two members of the field could be on the outside looking in when post positions are drawn Thursday. The Fountain of Youth serves as the last major local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby on April 1.

Because of the configuration of Gulfstream's 1 1/8-mile track, the run to the first turn is a short one in nine-furlong races such as the Fountain of Youth, and horses drawn in the outside posts in fields of eight or more are at a disadvantage. Just ask trainer Nick Zito, who will send out Great Point and Hemingway's Key in the Fountain of Youth.

Great Point broke from post 12 in the 1 1/8-mile Holy Bull Stakes here Feb. 4 and rallied from nearly 20 lengths off the lead to finish second, three-quarters of a length behind Barbaro. Trainer Nick Zito said he does not want to put Great Point through that kind of ordeal again Saturday.

"What he had to do breaking from that post last time was inhuman," said Zito. "He had to run twice as hard as anybody else in that race, and considering what he went through it was an exceptional performance. But you can't have too many races like that early in a 3-year-old's career or you'll just wipe them out. So naturally, I'm very concerned about how we make out at the post position draw. And I'm sure I won't be the only one who'll have to think about scratching if we were to draw one of the outside posts."

First Samurai, who in his 3-year-old debut finished second to Keyed Entry in the 7 1/2-furlong Hutcheson Stakes on Feb. 4, will go off the favorite under jockey Edgar Prado in the Fountain of Youth. The remainder of the field is expected to include Can't Beat It, Corinthian, Itsallabout-thechase, Flashy Bull, Jazil, My Golden Song, and Rehoboth.

Like Great Point, My Golden Song had his chances compromised in the Holy Bull because of his post position. Making his two-turn debut, My Golden Song broke from post 9 and finished third after being forced to race four to five wide for all nine furlongs.

My Golden Song's trainer, Todd Pletcher, said: "Like everybody else, I hope to be inside post 7, but I try not to worry too much about the draw because it's a random thing and there's not much any of us can do about it."