The Fountain of Youth Stakes
is an American Thoroughbred horse race
run annually at Gulfstream Park
in Hallandale Beach, Florida
at the beginning of March. A Grade II
event open to three-year-olds willing to race one and one-eighth miles on the dirt, it offers a purse of $400,000. It is the final stakes prep to the Florida Derby
and is an official prep race for the Kentucky Derby
The race was named for the mythical Florida spring that granted eternal youth, it was sought by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon
who searched throughout the south eastern United States for it but never found the fountain.
Four colts, Tim Tam
(1958), Kauai King
(1966), Spectacular Bid
(1979), and Thunder Gulch
(1995) won this race then went on to become "Dual Classic Winners," the first three won the Kentucky Derby
and the Preakness Stakes
the last won the Derby and the Belmont Stakes
. The 1985 winner, Proud Truth
, won that year's Breeders' Cup Classic
The Fountain of Youth Stakes was inaugurated in 1945 and run at various distances until 1953 when it was modified to 1 <sup>1</sup>/<small>16</small> miles. In 2005, it was changed to a distance of 1⅛ miles. In 2009, it was run at one mile.
The race was run in two divisions in 1947, 1953, 1983, 1986 and 1993.
- 1 <sup>1</sup>/<small>8</small> miles - 1:48.87 - Eskendereya (2010)
- 1 mile - 1:35.01 - Quality Road (2009)