Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of 3-year-olds making their stakes debut head a field of 13 for Saturday's $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16-mile race is a prep for the Florida Derby coming up on Saturday, March 29.
Part of the Kentucky Derby points system, winning the Fountain of Youth is worth 50 points toward a place in the Run for the Roses on May 3.
Making stakes debuts Saturday will be Commissioner and Top Billing. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Commissioner is the 3-1 morning-line favorite and will start from the inside post with Top Billing, trained by Shug McGaughey, second in the program at 7-2 and leaving from post 12.
"In a big field like this, you certainly don't want to get stuck way outside, although the one probably wouldn't be my first choice either," Pletcher said of the draw after his other horse, We Miss Artie, drew post 2. "Considering the size of the field, I'm okay with it."
Commissioner, owned by WinStar Farm, regains the services of Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. The colt was second in his initial career start and has won his last two races, including his maiden victory with Velazquez last August.
Owned by breeders William S. Farish and E. J. Hudson Jr., Top Billing will be ridden by his regular jockey Joel Rosario. McGaughey won last year's Fountain of Youth with Orb who went on to capture both the Florida and Kentucky Derbies.
Top Billing is coming off an impressive win at Gulfstream on Jan. 25 when he circled the field to post a 2 3/4-length victory. He won his debut race at Laurel Park last December and finished second on Jan. 3 at Gulfstream, a neck behind Commissioner.
"I think he is going in the right direction," McGaughey said. "I think he's doing good, he looks good, and everything's in order."
Here is the Fountain of Youth field from the rail out: Commissioner, John Velazquez, 3-1; We Miss Artie, Joe Bravo, 8-1; Medal Count, Joe Rocco Jr., 15-1; Wildcat Red, Luis Saez, 6-1; General a Rod, Javier Castellano, 5-1; Casiguapo, Jose Lezcano, 30-1; C. Zee, Edgard Zayas, 12-1; Almost Famous, Calvin Borel, 10-1; Best Plan Yet, Paco Lopez, 20-1; Our Caravan, Corey Lanerie, 30-1; Hesinfront, Abdiel Jaen, 20-1; Top Billing, Joel Rosario, 7-2 and East Hall, Juan Leyva, 20-1.
The Fountain of Youth has an approximate post-time of 5:33 p.m. ET.