Stakes Profile: Fountain of Youth
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
The Fountain of Youth is a 8.5 furlong race for 3-year-olds run at Gulfstream Park. First run in 1945, it’s currently a Kentucky Derby points race. The Fountain of Youth has been a more productive prep for the Florida Derby than the Kentucky Derby, but what kind of betting race is it?
Below is a snapshot of what has produced Fountain of Youth winners since 1991 including odds, bettors’ choice, field size, running styles, prior race location, prior race finish position, number of days since the last race as well as Brisnet speed figures.
The graphs are interactive. Hover over or touch bars and lines for more information.
Fountain of Youth Winners Odds & Payouts 1991-2018
Odds are shown as listed in the charts. Hover-over or touch each bar for $2 payout.
1996 winner Built for Pleasure has been excluded from the graph as an outlier at $1 odd of $143.10 to allow for better overall visualization, but is included in the averages and medians.
Average $1 Odds: $9.00
Median $1 Odds: $4.20
Average $1 Odds: $4.90
Median $1 Odds: $4.20
Average $2 Win: $20.20
Median $2 Win: $10.40
Average $2 Win: $11.90
Median $2 Win: $10.40
Fountain of Youth Winners Bettors’ Choice and Field Size 1991-2018
Bettors’ Choice is the ranked order of the field by final odds: The favorite is the first choice, the second favorite is the second choice and so on. For example, 1991 winner Fly So Free was 1st choice in a 10 horse field. Hover-over or touch the bars for more information
Average Choice of Winner: 2.64
Average Field Size: 9.71
Average Favorite Finish Position: 2.97
Average Choice of Winner: 2.91
Average Field Size: 9.22
Average Favorite Finish Position: 4.27
Winning Fountain of Youth Running Styles 1991-2018
To read the charts below, 0 on the vertical axis is the lead, any distance behind the leader is below 0 and any distance above 0 is the amount the leader is ahead of the next horse. At the bottom are the points of call as they correspond to the charts. Each line is a horse, and you can hover over the point of call for each line to see more information about the horse.
For example, if you hover over the bottom-most line in the first chart at the 1/2 mile mark you’ll see that in the 2017 winner Gunnevera was 9 lengths behind the leader at this point in the race.
First Samurai (2006) and Itsaknockout (2015) both won by disqualification and have been excluded from the running style charts since they did not finish first.
Early speed has produced the most Fountain of Youth winners since 1991, with stalkers/pressers winning 40.7% of the time and front-running runners winning 33.3% of the time. The last 10 years have roughly been on trend with 60% of the winners up and on the pace or in the lead.
Position at the 1/2 mile mark…
Presser/Stalker: Between .1 and 3 lengths off leader
Off the pace: Between 3 and 6 lengths off the leader
Deep closer: More than 6 lengths off the leader
Below is a closer look at winning running styles by decade.
Fountain of Youth Winners Last Track Raced & Days Since 1991-2018
Winners have overwhelming come from Gulfstream Park and have generally raced within 35 days.
Average Days Since Last Race: 37.9
Median Days Since Last Race: 28
Winners Placing in Prior Race 1991-2018
A little over half of Fountain of Youth winners won their prior race (55.2%) and all but two winners finished in the money, or no worse than third, last out.
Fountain of Youth Brisnet Ratings 1991-2018
The chart below represents the last three Brisnet Speed Ratings earned by the Fountain of Youth winner, and includes the winning figure for the Fountain of Youth. In instances where a starter did not have three consecutive Brisnet Speed Ratings leading into the Fountain of Youth, the line starts with most recent. For example, the top most line at “2 Races Back” belongs to 1997 winner Pulpit, who only has two consecutive Brisnet Speed Ratings leading into the race.
Winning Brisnet Speed: 103
Brisnet Speed Prior Race: 99
Brisnet Speed 2 Back: 96
Brisnet Speed 3 Back: 94
The last ten years have seen a jump to 70% of winners coming in on an improved Brisnet Speed Rating and 40% coming in on a two race Brisnet Speed Rating improvement.
The Fountain of Youth has been a fairly formful race, with favorites performing to the generally accepted average of 35% win rate. The average winning odds since 1991 are 9-1 with a median of 4.-1 and an average $2 ticket paying $20.20. Since 2010 the average winning odds have dropped to 4.9-1 while the median has remained the same. The average $2 win ticket since 2010 has dropped to $11.90.
The winner on average has been the 2nd choice (2.6) since 1991 and has roughly remained steady from 2010 to the present at 2.9. The favorite has an average finish position of almost 3rd (2.9) since 1991, but unlike odds and and payouts has trended up to 4th (4.27) since 2010.
On or near the lead has produced the most wins since 1991 with stalkers/pressers at a 39.2% rate and speed at a 35.7% win rate. Deep closers have had the least success since 1991 winning only 10.7% of the time. The last 10 years have roughly been inline with this trend.
Winners have overwhelming come from Gulfstream Park and only two winners since 1991 finished worse than 3rd last out. Field size has been above the 2017 average of 7.7 with an average of 9.71 starters since 1991 and an average of 9.22 starters since 2010.
A solid 58.6% of winners came in on an improved Brisnet Speed Rating from their prior race since 1991, that number jumps to a notable 70% in the last 10 years.