Updated on 09/16/2011 6:49AM

Raining on pre-Derby parade

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Booklet, trained by John Ward, works Saturday morning under exercise rider Allen Rinnie, completing his major preparations for the upcoming Fountain of Youth.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The wet weather that hit Gulfstream Park Saturday night has played havoc with much of the local training for this weekend's major 3-year-old stakes races, including Gulfstream's Fountain of Youth Stakes, the first Grade 1 event of the year for 3-year-olds attempting to get to the Kentucky Derby.

Ken McPeek, who trains Harlan's Holiday, and Shug McGaughey, who trains Maybry's Boy, postponed scheduled works for their horses on Monday because the track was not to their liking, both trainers said. McPeek also postponed a work here for Repent, who is scheduled to head to Fair Grounds for Sunday's Risen Star Stakes. Workouts last weekend for both Booklet and Stephentown were altered out of concern for the track. Grey Beard was scheduled to work Sunday, but the track was closed that morning for training, so he went out instead on Monday, and turned in a sharp drill for trainer Graham Motion.

Here it is, more than 2 1/2 months before the Derby, and already the road to Churchill Downs is taking sharp twists and turns.

"The AAA never put a map out that shows the road to the Derby," said John Ward Jr., who trained last year's Derby winner, Monarchos, and has Booklet running in the Fountain of Youth.

Booklet, who will be ridden by Jorge Chavez, is one of at least seven horses scheduled to run in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth. The other definite starters are Blue Burner (Jerry Bailey the rider), Grey Beard (Edgar Prado), Harlan's Holiday (Tony D'Amico), Maybry's Boy (John Velazquez), Political Attack (Mark Guidry), and Stephentown (Pat Day). Possible are Speed Hunter and Repent, though McPeek said he was "95 percent sure" Repent would run in New Orleans.

If Repent goes to Fair Grounds, his rivals in the Risen Star would include Easyfromthegitgo, who won last month's Lecomte Handicap. Easyfromthegitgo worked a half-mile in 49.40 seconds Monday at Fair Grounds.

Nokoma, trained by Todd Pletcher, and Saarland, trained by McGaughey, are passing the Fountain of Youth and instead will be pointed for allowance races for their next starts, their trainers said.

The track was rated good Monday morning. Orange traffic cones, known as dogs, were placed well out from the rail. "It should be dry by tomorrow, if there's no more rain," McPeek said.

Since he was already a day behind, Motion decided to go ahead and work Grey Beard, who had been scheduled to work on Sunday. Grey Beard easily pulled away from workmate Where's the Ring while breezing five furlongs in 1:02.80 with exercise rider Vicki King. Where's the Ring was supposed to give Grey Beard a tougher battle, but Motion was relieved to see Grey Beard work well.

"Well, that didn't work out as planned," Motion said. "He worked well. He's not a flashy work horse. I'm surprised that on his own he worked as good as he did. Having said that, since his last race, he's been more aggressive."

Both Booklet and Stephentown completed their serious training when they worked on Saturday, but both made concessions to a track that had been sealed in anticipation of rain. Booklet worked late in the morning, after the track was chewed up, and Stephentown worked extremely slowly, with trainer Tony Reinstedler exercising caution on the hard surface of the early morning.

All the probable starters in the Fountain of Youth are among the 405 horses who were announced as nominees to this year's Triple Crown Sunday.