... TC The Triple Crown prep season gets serious today when early Kentucky Derby favorite Unbridled's Song takes on seven rivals in the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Despite the defection of Appealing Skier, a strong field is due to test Unbridled's Song, including the D. Wayne Lukas entry of Editor's Note, Victory Speech and Gold Fever.
New Farm's Appealing Skier, trained by Ben Perkins Sr., beat the Derby choice in the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes on Feb. 4. That was considered a tuneup for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion.
But Perkins is reluctant to run his horse over a track he believes favors late runners, not distance speed.
Unbridled's Song's trainer, Jimmy Ryerson, still "believes that race [Hutcheson] did him a lot of good. He's going to benefit a lot and hopefully move way up."
The feature today at Laurel Park will be the $75,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap, which brings seven together for the race at 1 3/16 miles.
The probable favorite is Richie The Coach, who wired the field in the 1 5/16-mile St. Brendan Stakes last Sunday.