The Holy Bull (GII)

Great 3YO racing tomorrow from Gulfstream Park, including Kentucky Derby points on the line in the the Holy Bull.

The race features several contenders who have already earned qualifying points. A win won’t be enough to join El Kabeir and International Star as likely qualifiers, but will stamp the contender as a key player throughout the winter. Here’s the list:

  • Upstart: 6 points
  • Frosted: 4 points
  • Keen Ice: 2 points

I’ll start, however, with another horse — Bluegrass Singer. Despite being cross-entered in the Hutchinson, is likely to start here. He’s plenty fast on paper, but his improvement has come at a specialist distance — the 1-turn mile at Gulfstream. He could like the two-turns today, but the added distance risk is enough to raise questions to look elsewhere.

Frosted and Keen Ice exit the Remsen, which was a very tricky race to handicap. At the top of the lane, Frosted looked ready to roll, but Leave the Light On had more in the stretch.

Frosted could have matured during the layoff, but I see very little reason to support him today at a low price, especially with his effort last out. Someone is going to move forward to win this race — yes, it could be him, but I’d rather look elsewhere.

I liked Upstart in the Breeders’ Cup and do rate him with a very solid chance today. He’s got the speed, but I’m hesitant to take a low price off the layoff for Violette. I’d certainly recommend using him in bigger multi-race exotics, but I’d be hesitant to single him. Instead, I’d add Godolphin’s First Down, who has a tremendous amount of positives and a 12-1 morning line. He won on debut for Albetrani — something that doesn’t happen very often:

Screenshot 2015-01-23 18.32.15


In that debut, he beat Frosted. First Down then faced two of the division leaders — El Kabeir and Blofeld — on a wet track in only his second start. In contrast to some of the others here, his breeding (Street Sense/Storm Cat) suggests that he should enjoy the extra distance.

I’ll use Upstart and First Down in the very fun multi-race wagers on this deep card, and I’ll play First Down to win at 5-1 or greater. Good luck!

Image: JL Decker, Copyright 2006.