Cairo Prince, after sitting a quiet early stalking trip moved up on the outside of all the early speeds on the far turn then collaring the leader at the top of the stretch to roll off to a 5 3/4 lengths win in today’s $400,000, Holy Bull Stakes, for 3yo’, at 1 1/16 mile over a “fast” Gulfstream Park main track!
The $400,000, GII Holy Bull Stakes, for 3yo’s, at 1 1 1/16 mile, over the Gulfstream main drew a huge field of 11, 3yo Kentucky Derby want-to-be’s, as the serious business of separating the 3yo wheat from the 3yo chaff gets underway here at Gulfstream this Saturday in this first important graded test of the 2014 Derby Trail season here at Gulfstream Park!
Cairo Prince , at 3/1, by 2009 Derby runner-up in Pioneer of the Nile, comes in here off just a “nose” lose to Honor Code in last fall’s GII Remsen Stakes up at Aqueduct. He did have the stretch lead for all but the last few steps of that 2-turn tilt! He also has the GII Nashua Stakes title on this resume, as well! He’ll be the probable post time favorite as he actually is cutting back to the 1 1/16 mile distance here from his last out! Tends to stalk an early pace but as tends to be a bit premature in going to the lead. A solid exotics choice anyway!
Mr Speaker , at 5/1, by Pulpit and a Unbridled mare, won the GIII Dania Beach Stakes turfer here last out with a nice closing drive to win by 2 3/4 length in a very nice time of 1:36.4 for that turf mile. He has no dirt form on his resume but that not a minus as sometimes going turf to dirt works out just fine. Anyway, his on a 2-race winning streak with a graded win, love the blood lines and he has this distance twice in his career already and makes him another solid exotics choice for us!
Intense Holiday , at 6/1, by Harlan’s Holiday out of a Unbridled’s Song mare, is a Todd Pletcher trained 3yo who was 5th in the GI Champagne Stakes, 4th in the GII Nashua stakes and 4th again in the GII Remsen Stakes in his last 3 outs! Let’s see now, a Todd Pletcher trained 3yo at the Gulfstream winter meet with top graded experiences and gets a Joel Rosario ride to boot, well, we’ll find a home for this one somewhere in our exotics thinking!
Wicked Strong , at 8/1, by Hard Spun, was 3rd by just a 1/2 length in that same GII Remsen Stakes last out where he too was closing on the leaders in deep stretch. He had an erratic start but settled nicely to business at crunch time!
Almost Famous , at 8/1, by Unbridled’s Song, hopped up at the start of another Churchill $75k 1x Oc last out but still went wire to wire for a 6 lengths win covering that 1 1/16 mile tilt in 1:44.4 way back on Nov 9th! Something of a layoff here for this one but he can go this distance but just might be an early speed here too!
Financial Mogul , at 10/1, by Street Boss, was 2nd to Cairo Prince, in that GII Nashua Stakes last out just 2 lengths back at the line as he was closing in deep stretch.
Conquest Titan , at 12/1, by Birdstone, out of a Mineshaft mare, finished 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 2 back where he had the lead at the first call but faded from that point. He beat General A Rod in a Churchill $75k 1x Oc at a mile in 1:35.1 by 1 3/4 length after loosing his footing at start! Looking for a Belmont Stakes horse, here’s one you could consider right now! This one cries out for more distance, but you’ve gotta start you’re derby run somewhere!
Best Plan Yet , at 20/1, by Hear No Evil, was either 1st or 2nd in all of Calder’s big 2yo Stakes races last year but come up an awful 9th back almost 20 lengths in the Gulfstream Park Derby last out as he was all done by the 2nd call. He’ll still get a lot of play as a South Florida favorite son here on Saturday but is going to have to find more to be a part of the show at the end.
Big Bazinga , at 20/1, by Bluegrass Catout of a Maria’s Mon mare, was 2nd 2 back in the Woodbine GIII Grey Cup Stakes but faltered next out for a distant 7th finish in the GIII Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes on his first dirt try! A lot to hope for this one with his blood line but maybe he is not a dirt horse, we recommend caution here!
Coup de Grace , at 4/1, by Tapit and Our Caravan , at 15/1, by Daaher, are both coming off good 2- turn performances over this strip in their last outs but might be something of cut below in here!
Of this pair, however, Coup de Grace, might be useable as he is coming off 2 wins in a row with the last being a 1-mile Alw dust-up here run in 1:36.4 all the way on the front end, too! We think he’s is going to take some wise guy money in here and who knows maybe they’ll be right but try to get a good price on him anyway before commiting any funds on his name!
So, a truly solid field of 11, 3yo’s will go to post here at Gulfstream Park in this 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby Points test as $400,000, GII Holy Bull Stakescranks up the graded 3yo season here this Saturday!