Risen Star, Fountain of Youth Recaps - 02/24/13

Ive Struck A Nerve takes Risen Star at 135-1, Orb benefits from swift pace to win Fountain of Youth.

A photo finish in the Risen Star goes to the underdog. Ive Struck A Nerve drove past six other horses in the stretch after trailing the field along the backstretch. Ive Struck A Nerve paid an absurd $272.40 to win. Code West was stalking the pace in second for most of the trip. He did fall back to fourth in the stretch, but was able to rebound to place by a nose. The 3-5 favorite, Normandy Invasion had trouble from the start. He was late out of the gate, then stumbled a bit. He finished well, but his troubled trip proved too much to overcome. Palace Malice had a nice stretch drive to get up for the third, while Oxbow tired late to finish fourth. Ive Struck A Nerve claimed the ever-important 50 Kentucky Derby Points. Add that to the one point he earned in the Lecomte, and he might have already earned enough points to get a start in the Kentucky Derby come May.

The Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park was run with blazing fast fractions, 23.11 at the first call, 45.45 and 108.85 for the first six furlongs. As expected, Majestic Hussar set the pace early, but wore himself out by the time he turned for home. Majestic Hussar finished a distant fourth. The favorite, Violence and Orb were 1-2 at the top of the lane. Orb inched clear in the deep stretch beating Violence by a 1/2 length. Orb paid $12.80 to win. He did most of his work late, sitting in fifth with two and a half furlongs to go. Violence ran well enough to win. It did not look like he tired down the stretch, he just got beat. Speak Logistics finished third, passing a few tiring runners. The international shipper from Ireland, Cerro, had a disappointing finish, ending in sixth. He looked to be in good position along the backstretch just a few lengths off the lead, but he tired around the far turn and faded.

Ive Struck A Nerve and Orb sit atop the Kentucky Derby point standings with 51 and 50, respectively. Todd Pletcher trains the two horses behind them, Violence (30 pts.) and Shanghai Bobby (24 pts.). Goldencents (24 pts.) Code West (20 pts.) Oxbow (16 pts.) Speak Logistics (11 pts.) Itsmyluckyday (10 pts.) and Overanalyze (10 pts.) round out the top ten. Next weekend, there is only one race worth points, the Grade III Gotham at Aqueduct on Saturday. We will have a full preview coming up this week once official entries are named and post positions drawn.

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