The month of March may be big for betting college basketball. Yet, this month also ranks high on the list when it comes to wagering on major graded prep races for May’s Kentucky Derby.
The first stop on this Saturday’s race card is Gulfstream Park in South Florida for this year’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. This 1 1/16 miles run on the dirt has 13 three-year old Thoroughbreds listed as entered. Top trainers such as Dale Romans and Todd Pletcher have a major stake in the outcome of this race.
Heading out to the West Coast and Santa Anita Park in Southern California, trainers Doug O’Neil and Bob Baffert have loaded up the field with top contenders to win the 2022 Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. This 1 1/16 miles major stakes event has seven three-year old colts listed as entered.
Taking a closer look at each of these races, here are my “best bets” to finish in the money at both parks this Saturday.
2022 Fountain of Youth Predictions
Where: Gulfstream Park
When: Saturday, March 5th 2022
Win: Mo Donegal
Breaking from the outside in the No. 12 position, this Kentucky-bred colt has the highest Horse Racing Nation rating in the field at 6.57. Sired by Uncle Mo, he is coming off a third-place finish in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream in early February. Mo Donegal is one of trainer Todd Pletcher’s top three-year old prospects heading into the Triple Crown racing season. Veteran jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will get the ride in Saturday’s race.
Place: Rattle N Roll
This Kentucky-bred colt will be making his three-year old debut on Saturday after closing out his juvenile campaign with a victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland back in early October. Trained by Kenneth McPeek, the son of Connect with break sixth with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.
Show: Giant Game
Coming off a disappointing fade to eighth in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on Feb. 25, trainer Dale Romans is looking for a much stronger effort this time around. The Kentucky-bred three- year old with break from the No. 10 post with Corey Lanerie as his jockey. The son of Giant’s Causeway placed third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar.
2022 San Felipe Stakes Predictions
Where: San Anita Park
When: Saturday, March 5th 2022
Win: Forbidden Kingdom
As a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender, the son of American Pharoah appears to be the class of this seven horse field. Trained by Richard Mandella, he drew the No. 6 post for Saturday and Juan Hernandez will be on board as his jockey. He made his three-year old debut by winning the Grade 3 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 29.
Place: Happy Jack
The No. 1 horse in this race is trained by Doug O’Neill with Abel Cedillo as his jockey. The son of Oxbow slipped to fifth in this year’s Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita early last month but he is better than that showing. At 5.34, he has one of the higher HRN ratings in Saturday’s field.
All eyes will be on this three-year old colt as one of two entries trained by Bob Baffert. Relatively inexperienced, he opened up his three-year old campaign with a victory in a Maiden Special Weight Race at Santa Anita earlier this year. Sired by Quality Road, he will start third with John Velazquez as his jockey.