Mighty Holy Bull loans his legendary name and memory to today's featured race, the Grade III 1 Mile Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park. Holy Bull is now remembered for his ability as a sire, but the Turk likes to remember him as a horse who was a failure on the his quest to win the Kentucky Derby as a favorite, but had connections who had enough foresight to rethink their horse's 3 YO campaign and turn him into a force to be feared. A terrible breakdown in the 1995 Donn Handicap luckily did not end his life and we remember his legacy. A certain horse named Barbaro started his 3 Yo campaign here. The fantastic print shown above can be found at Riverwind Gallery. Let's get it on!
Gulfstream Park; The Holy Bull Stakes Grade III; 1 Mile on Fast Dirt for 3 YOs.
Aikenite is a Pletcher trainee with J. Velazquez up. A son of a top sprinter sire, Yes It's True, his ability to stretch out is yet to be determined but we like the possibilities. This is his fourth crack at a graded stakes win and his first race since early November's Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Training nicely including a :59 4/5ths bullet with 19 runners at 5f this week.
Jackson Bend goes for Trainer Zito for the first time today, and he has five wins on fast dirt already. Zito has only a 5% win rate in Graded Stakes over rolling year and hopefully he'll improve on that with a horse that breaks from the far outside and has good quality. Jock J. Rose replaces J. Sanchez in the irons. Training very sharply since late December.
So The Turk thinks this is a two horse race for the win but there is a nice level of quality in this race and someone who finishes out of the money will still be a very good horse. I see a stratification layer just below the top two that includes Homeboykris, William's Kitten and Winslow Homer.
R. Dutrow's runner Homeboykris has something to prove after a dreadful Remsen in late November but is the 1 mile Grade I Champagne winner from a six horse field. Prado is still top shelf and is up. A. Dutrow's Winslow Homer is from Unbridled's Song and has two straight wins in lesser quality company, including a big loose on the lead effort in the slop. William's Kitten is a Maker trainee with Eclipse Award winning Leparoux up and has been burning the barn down in works the last two weeks.
Pace will bring Piscitelli possibly into Show or 4th and Thank U Philippe can't be discounted too low either. Whoever wins this race will be a quality horse and a few of the losers will fly under the wire and still be horses to watch. Good stuff in an era of small fields and questionable quality.
I thought we'd take a run at the Pick Three as well that starts in Race 7, a 7 furlong dirt affair, MSW 45K. #7 Liquidity Event was scratched by Trainer Zito this morning. I'm going to back 3 horses, Mine N Gems/4, Six Chicks/5 and Bushwhacked/6. If I was singling I'd take Bushwhacked, a Sheppard Trainee for Augustin Stables with Leparoux up. What a team that is.
Race 8 is a 1 1/16 firm turf ALW N1X for F&M. Again I have three horses at the time of writing I'm backing, Take a Vow/3, Miss Olivia Rae/7 and Musical Romance/9. Take a Vow would be my single, A Janney bred and owned runner for Trainer McGaughey comes in off a 7f turf maiden win.
The Turk is right now looking at a 3 X 3 X 2 pick three bet for $18 dollars. The fields are big enough with no heavy duty chalk to justify the slightly bloated bet of mine.
As always, check the weather and the scratches and tote board board before you jump into the fray.
Have Fun, Turk Out!