Friday, January 25, 2013

Holy Bull Stakes 2013

GULFSTREAM PARK - January 26, 2013
Race 10 - 5:05 PM
Holy Bull S. (Grade III)
Purse - $400,000
Distance - One And One Sixteenth Miles
Kentucky Derby Points:  Winner – 10 / Place – 4 / Show -  2 / Fourth - 1

1 – Shanghai Bobby
2 – Frac Daddy
3 – Clearly Now
4 – Bern Identity
5 – Sr. Quisqueyano
6 – Dewey Square
7 –Itsmyluckyday
8- Tulira Castle
9- Fredricksburg
10 – Joshua’s Compromise

As I contemplate the field of the Holy Bull Stakes I'm reminded of 2007 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Champion War Pass.

One obvious reason I’m thinking of War Pass is that he sired #8 Tulira Castle – however the stronger reason he influences my writing is due to the early success of #1 Shanghai Bobby.

Take a peek at War Pass running in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile in 2007 – Watch as he blazes the first quarter mile (in the mud) at 22 seconds….he “opens up” in the second turn leaving everyone else seven, eight, maybe nine lengths behind -- (the cameraman at times can't keep the remaining pack and War Pass in the same frame because he's so far ahead)….he absolutely FLEW in this race and he does all of this in the mud!

In his first five races he was undefeated (similar to Shanghai Bobby) – however War Pass hit a wall in the following spring – finished 7th in the Tampa Bay Derby and 2nd in the Wood Memorial….and he didn’t even run in the Kentucky Derby.

But when I saw War Pass as a two year old (especially this race) …. I really believed he was extraordinary and he would dominate the Triple Crown – (would have loved to see War Pass and Big Brown go at it, at least one time during their primes that season!)

#1 Shanghai Bobby  lines up in the Holy Bull as the undefeated Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Champion and the morning line 4/5 odds favorite.  There are many critics who believe that Shanghai Bobby won’t be able to handle the distance as the races continue to stretch him out – primarily because it’s not in his “breeding”.

As a racing enthusiast I say to hell with breeding – Shanghai Bobby appears to be a very special horse and I’m hopeful he continues his strong success….however we've seen so many brilliant two year olds turn into very average three year olds!

But beginning with the Holy Bull the road to the Triple Crown isn't going to be easy! He’s facing a very talented field this Saturday – in fact this may possibly be the best race we see until the first weekends of April.

***Incidentally Fusaichiswonderful has also won 5 races in 5 attempts and runs in the the Graded Filly Stakes two races before the Holy Bull in what is also a very competitive Forward Gal Stakes

#2 Frac Daddy lost only by a nose against Uncaptured in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club (and finishing ahead of #6 Dewey Square) – Frac Daddy only has three races (1 victory) on his resume – however he seems to be the kind of horse that could develop into a very good horse – very quickly! He’s coming off two months rest and he’s currently going of at 8/1 – He looks like a fighter to me….I don’t see him as any worse than 4th in the Holy Bull

#3 Clearly Now – won his first two races at 6 furlongs apiece, and followed those races with a 3rd place finish at 1 1/16th miles against average talent – I think he’ll be outclassed here.

#4 Bern Identity – is one of the many talented horses who has previously lost to Shanghai Bobby (Hopeful Stakes). Bern Identity has displayed a lot of talent so far – and outside of his maiden race he’s only lost to two of the best three year olds running (Shanghai Bobby and Goldenscents). It’s understandable that he’s the second favorite at 4/1 – if over the past 70 days of rest he’s trained well and blossomed, he could certainly become a Kentucky Derby favorite with a trip to the winner’s circle here.

#5  Sr. Quisqueyano – has Placed twice behind # 7 Itsmyluckyday in their two outings. Sr. Quisqueyano has solid experience, having already raced 7 times in his young career – and scoring three victories and four places. I really like his consistency, however I see him at best finishing 3rd in this one.

#6  Dewey Square has two victories out of three attempts, and he finished a solid third in the Kentucky Jockey Club. At 12-1 odds I think he’s a very dangerous horse – because two of his races have been at this distance. He doesn’t have a lot of experience – so a little more maturity could really benefit this horse…..I like his post position – he could surprise here – his sire is Bernardini.

#7 Itsmyluckyday – he’s going off at 6/1 and I wouldn’t be surprised if he became the second favorite in this race, primarily because of his name (it is a great name). However while he’s won 4 out of 8 attempts – he finished 6th in the Delta Jackpot well behind 2nd place finisher Bern Identity.  I love the name of this horse, but I believe he’ll be overbet come post time.

Strangely Sensitive Cheetah
worries that if he thinks he's
having a lucky day
his luck will change.
#8 Tulira Castle – son of War Pass and going off at 30/1 odds has two victories out of four attempts. He has never tackled this distance and unless his sire’s breeding kicks in this Saturday I don’t think he’ll contend for a victory.

#9 Fredricksburg – finished immediately behind Tulira Castle in their last outing.  He only has 1 victory in 5 attempts and I don’t think he should be sitting at 30-1 odds with Tulira Castle, but he is. I’ll be surprised if he finishes in the top 5 of this race.

#10 Joshua’s Compromise has a very impressive resume in that he has already raced 15 times in his very young career, which is nearly double the races of the next most experienced horse Itsmyluckyday. What isn’t too terribly impressive is that he only has 1 victory. Seems that his Ownership / Management is running this horse in everything – just hoping to rack up as much money as they can….and his earnings so far are about $115,000. It's frustrating to see this however  – as long as they aren’t hurting the horse….they are made to run….but I don’t think they’re going to win anything this Saturday.

I don’t like to play it safe and pick favorites – but this is just how I see it:

Closing Speed likes: 1,4,2

Now comes the betting side:

I did cash a winning ticket in the California Derby, however I’m still down about $6,

The problem with how I’m reading the Holy Bull is that I don’t see a “big” upset possibility here  - I think Frac Daddy, Shanghai Bobby and Bern Identity will take up at least two out of the top three spots. I think Dewey Square could squeeze into the top three – but I just don’t like the risk v. reward here.

So I’m going with a Pick 3 starting with Race 8 – the Filly Forward Gal Stakes.

Race 8 – 2,6
Race 9 – 1,2,3,7,10,12,13
Race 10 - 1

Pick = $14

Basically I’m taking two favorites in the Forward Gal Stakes a few long shots in Race 9, and finally Shanghai Bobby as the anchor to the Pick 3. Should be a great race day at Gulfstream this Saturday.

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