Saturday, February 2, 2019

Holy Bull Preview

Saturday’s $350,000 Holy Bull Stakes (Grade 2) is the first points-scoring stop at Gulfstream Park on this year’s road to the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1).

Recent stakes winners Maximus Mischief and Mihos head the field for the Holy Bull, at 1 1/16 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds.

First post is 12:00 p.m. for Saturday’s 12-race card.

The Holy Bull is the 11th race, with scheduled post of 5:13 p.m.

The race has nine entrants, following the morning scratch of Going for Gold.

Maximus Mischief is unbeaten in three starts. In his most recent race he led at every call and won the Remsen Stakes  (Grade 2) on Dec. 1 at 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct in Ozone Park, N.Y.

Mihos comes into the Holy Bull off a victory in the Mucho Macho Man, at one mile at Gulfstream on Jan. 5. He came from off the pace and beat early leader Trophy Chaser by a neck. Trophy Chaser is not in the Holy Bull.

But the Holy Bull field has Garter and Tie, a late  runner who finished third by 2 ½ lengths to Mihos in the Mucho Macho Man.

Federal Case, trained by Todd Pletcher, and Come on Gerry, trained by Dale Romans, also will be attractive to some bettors.

Both are making their stakes debuts, coming off impressive wins at Gulfstream. Both have early speed and could challenge Maximus  Mischief for the lead.

Jose Ortiz will ride Maximus Mischief for trainer Robert (Chip) Reid.

Ortiz rode Mihos in the Mucho Macho  Man.  In the Holy Bull, John Velazquez will ride Migos for trainer James Jerkens.

Others in the field are Epic Dreamer,  Everlast, Harvey Wallbanger and Gladiator King.

The winner of the Holy Bull will receive ten qualifying points  for one of the 20 spots in the 1 ¼ mile Kentucky Derby, to  be run May 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Ky.

The second through fourth place finishers om the Holy Bull will earn four, two and one Kentucky Derby points, respectively.

On March 2 Gulfstream will have the 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth (Grade 2). That race will award 50. 20. 10 and 5 Kentucky Derby points for first to fourth place.

The 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby (Grade 1) will be run at Gulfstream on March 30. Its Kentucky Derby points are 100, 40, 20 and 10.

Maximus Mischief has ten points from his  Remsen win.  He is the only Holy Bull runner with any Kentucky Derby points.

History indicates that at least 30 points will be needed to make the Kentucky Derby field.
--Jim Freer

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