April 23, 2024

Gunnevera, Three Rules breeze for Fountain of Youth

Gunnevera captured the 2016 Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) with Javier Castellano aboard (Coady Photography)

Gunnevera and Three Rules each put in works on Saturday in Florida to ready for the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 4.

Gunnevera recorded his move at Gulfstream Park West, covering five furlongs in 1:01 under Edgard Zayas, though Javier Castellano will be back in the saddle when the chestnut colt lines up in the Fountain of Youth. The duo were last seen finishing second in the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) on February 4 in what was Gunnevera’s seasonal bow.

Saturday’s move, the third fastest at the distance on the day, was the first for the Kentucky-bred son of Dialed In since the Holy Bull.

“He’s a very happy horse,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “He went very easy, very handily. He went 1 minute, 1 second and galloped out in 1:14. I’m very excited about the horse.”

Gunnevera captured both the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) and Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) last year with a fifth-placing in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) sandwiched between those. He ended up holding the winner of that race, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) victor and champion two-year-old male Classic Empire, to third by five lengths in the Holy Bull despite steadying on the final turn.

“To me, it was a winning race,” Sano said. “On the last turn my horse was bumped and it broke the action of my horse.”

Gunnevera also ran fourth in the Birdonthewire Stakes last year behind Three Rules, who took to Gulfstream Park’s fast main track on Saturday to breeze five furlongs in 1:01.77.

“It was a maintenance work. He just galloped around,” trainer Jose Pinchin said of the move, which was the seventh fastest of 30 works at the distance on the day. “He handled it good. He came back real good.”

The Gone Astray colt swept the Florida Sire Stakes series at Gulfstream last season to bring a perfect five-for-five mark into his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile attempt, where he suffered his first loss when sixth.

Three Rules won the In Reality division of the Florida Sire Stakes series at Gulfstream Park with Cornelio Velasquez aboard on Saturday, October 1, 2016 (c) Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography

Saturday’s move was Three Rules’ first since returning on February 4 for a close runner-up effort in the Swale Stakes (G2).

Huracan Americo, a Peruvian Group 1 winner who could be targeting the Fountain of Youth in advance of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on April 11, also worked at Gulfstream on Saturday, clocking a mile in 1:41.14 for trainer Dante Zanelli Jr.

It was the second breeze for the Florida-bred son of Drosselmeyer since he arrived at Gulfstream in late January. His first recorded work at the track resulted in a time of 1:02.69 for five furlongs on February 9.

“We’re looking at the Fountain of Youth. The horse will have to tell us,” Zanelli said soon after that latter move. “The Florida Derby is the first definite target. However, the Fountain of Youth is a possibility the way this horse allows you to work with him. We’ll see what happens as we get closer to the two races. We are pointing to the Fountain of Youth as long as the horse keeps moving forward.”