The Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park has historically been one of the country's top prep races for the Kentucky Derby. The 2012 edition of the Grade 2 event is shaping up to be one of the best in years as three of this season's top Kentucky Derby contenders—Union Rags, Algorithms and Discreet Dancer—are all being pointed to the $400,000 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 26.

Some of the biggest names in racing history have won the Fountain of Youth on their way to Triple Crown success. In fact, four winners of the Fountain of Youth—Thunder Gulch (1995), Spectacular Bid (1979), Kauai King (1966) and Tim Tam (1958)--went on to win two legs of the Triple Crown.

The Fountain of Youth, which was first run in 1945, is back to its traditional distance of 1 1/16-miles for the 2012 running. Following the renovation of Gulfstream Park in 2005, the Fountain of Youth was contested at either a flat mile or 1 1/8-miles because the new track layout did not allow for 1 1/16-mile races. However, this winter Gulfstream added a second finish line that once again allows for 1 1/16-mile races.

The change in distance is a major reason why several of this year's leading Kentucky Derby contenders will go head-to-head in the Fountain of Youth. Union Rags, who was one of the top juvenile males in the country last year, will be making his first start as a 3-year-old in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Union Rags won the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes last year and was beaten just a head by eventual 2-year-old champion Hansen in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to conclude his campaign. In Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, bettors made Union Rags the 7-to-1 favorite among individual horses.

Algorithms exits a sharp win in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park for trainer Todd Pletcher. In the Holy Bull, which was Algorithms first try in a stakes race, the son of Bernardini easily blew past Hansen in deep stretch to stamp himself a legitimate Derby contender. As a consequence, bettors installed Algorithms as the 12-to-1 second choice in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Discreet Dancer, a stablemate of Algorithms, will be getting a major class test in the Fountain of Youth as this will be his first try in a Stakes race. The son of Discreet Cat was a debut winner against Maidens at Gulfstream Dec. 3 and came right back to demolish a field of Allowance foes Jan. 7. Despite those strong effort, he was somewhat ignored in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Set at 15-to-1 on the morning line, Discreet Dancer was ultimately let go at 30-to-1.

Sensitive Prince holds the Stakes record at the 1 1/16-mile distance based off his win in the 1978 Fountain of Youth that he completed in a swift 1:41.00.

Michael Tabor leads all owners in number of Fountain of Youth Stakes wins with three, which included Thunder Gulch in 1995. D. Wayne Lukas won the Fountain of Youth in 1992, 1995 and 2000 to lead all trainers. Jerry Bailey won four Fountain of Youth's between 1980 and 2005 to lead all jockeys.

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