The Holy Bull Stakes (Grade 2) (KYD)- $350.000 Purse
GP- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
February 3, 2018
The 15th running of the Holy Bull Stakes takes place on Saturday at GP. There is usually something about this race to where it seems to attract the very best of the best, at this current point in time. This year is no exception, as the reigning BC Juvenile champion, Gumshoe, officially kicks off his KYD push with this race. Other Juvenile runners come here as well, and we even get one from the Juvenile Fillies trying her luck against the boys. There is still three months to go, and sometimes this race can also be a harsh reminder that there is plenty of time. Last year’s winner, Made To Sin at this time of year had everyone looking at him as a Derby favorite, but that never panned out. Even without all the Derby hoopla, this still a nice race with a $350.000 purse sitting there for the taking. Let’s take a look at our field of ten.
#1- Pink Cadillac (John Henry, ridden by J R Velazquez)- After winning the first two races of his career, former trainer Four Winds Racing sold him off to John Henry for a healthy $210.000, and the new trainer is still looking to get his caddy in full gear. He hasn’t been bad, but you don’t spend that kind of money for three out of four off the board finishes. He was gelded in November, and there may have been slight improvement with it, but it’s time for Pink Cadillac to step up.
#2- Confidently In Love (Mb Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- For every Mrs Bombastic in the PRK we have had, I have seen about twenty fillies on here try and fail to run against the boys. It’s an admirable task, and she’s coming off a very good looking win in the Grade 1 Starlet in December, a race that followed up a disappointing race in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Speed figures are great, and with the five pound allowance that she gets, it may play to her favor. She’ll be in the mix, but to pick up a win here is a tough task. But if there’s one trainer to get it done, this is the one. I’d rather have seen her in the Withers, personally.
#3- Mist Maker (Crocker Ggs, ridden by R Bejarano)- The jockey will look for his third consecutive win in the stake, and he’s got a very good mount to try and get it done. The trainer did not mess around with maidens beyond the first try, and in his third race, Mist Maker impressively came from behind to win the Coronation Futurity, for Canadians, held on BC weekend. He would follow that up in December by winning the Grade 2 Remsen at AQU. Mist Maker has shown a definite liking for coming from off the pace, and that should be fine running style for this race. Two of his four career starts have earned a 97 SRF, so there is plenty to like, and he should be considered one of the top choices here.
#4- Mistress Seeker (Aer Stables, ridden by L H Colon)- At the beginning of October, Mistress Seeker picked up a win in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes, and all seemed to be in good shape for him. The victory sent him to the BC Juvenile, and he seemed to run a respectable 6th there. Unfortunately his finishing position has only been going up, with a 7th and then an 8th place result in his last two. There’s not a lot to be excited about in those races, either. He tried being on the lead, and he tried coming from off the pace. Now, he really needs to get back on track while there is still plenty of time.
#5- What Have You Done (Mb Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- The Engine Failure colt looks to be one of Mb Stables’ better two year olds at this time. In the middle of September, What Have You Done came from out of no where, being nine lengths out after six furlongs, to win after a mile and a sixteenth. Part of that is because the fractions were too quick by the pace setters, but it was still a good look close. He made up a couple lengths in the BC Juvenile too, in order to pick up one of the smaller checks Mb Stables earned that weekend, finishing fourth. He always finds away to be near the front at the end, and I like that about him.
#6- Fox News (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by A A Gallardo)- One thing we know with certainty, and that is there will never be dull headlines for this one when they may win any big races throughout their career. For now, Fox News hasn’t done much that is newsworthy, with just a FL maiden win to his credit. A couple of allowances afterwards at the mid and upper levels saw finishes in the money, but no wins. While I like his general effort in each of those wins, I must be fair and balanced and say that I would have liked to have seen him win one of those races. He has potential, but this is a tough assignment.
#7- Blindfold (Mb Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- The third of three Mb Stables in this race, and there is a very good chance that we see him going out to the lead early on. That is not because he will be a rabbit, but simply that is because Blindfold wants to run. The Engine Failure colt has won two out of three by going out to the lead, and simply staying there, so now we get to see if he can do the same against the strongest competition he has ever seen, assuming he can see it, given his name. He does wear blinkers, because of course he does. Works are strong, and he’s here to win, not for anything else.
#8- Neon Wolf (Smokey Stover, ridden by J R Leparoux)- Right here at GP last month, Neon Wolf was victorious in the $100.000 Mucho Macho Man. In the process, he broke the stake record for the race, showing that his impressive works to this point can be backed up on the race track. Now, he tries graded company for the first time, but don’t think for a second that this wolf will intimidated by that. He appears versatile in regards to pace, being able to while on the lead, or running a handful of lengths off. It’s a pretty big race for him.
#9- Gumshoe (EasyMoney Stables, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- The BC Juvenile champion has had three months to rest, and now he returns to the track to officially kick off his three year old season. 2017 certainly was a memorable year for him, winning four out of seven, which also included the DMR Futurity. We know he likes racing out there at DMR, but this time of year, he needs to find a new favorite track. K J Desormeaux was his jockey for the BC Juvenile as well, so there is plenty of reason to like Gumshoe. Still, it’s a new year, and winning that race is not a free pass into KYD. He figures to be one of the favorites in this race, and even though he des not necessarily have to win this race to prove himself, he still needs to run well against this field.
#10- Sacred Brave (Blushing Meadows, ridden by G Boulanger)- On the outside, Sacred Brave is a young talent with just one win in three career starts, as the trainer brings him along patiently. That win was a WO maiden, and afterwards, he was sent to the grass, still at WO, for the $100.000 Kittens Joy. While he did put forth a solid 95 SRF for the race, his come from behind effort could only get him to the fourth position. He’s never gone more then 7 and a half furlongs, but the conformation says that he won’t have a problem with it. Looking at the Kitten’s Joy, it might play right into his hand.