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2014 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream

Gulfstream’s Holy Bull Stakes

ItsmyluckydayWe are officially down to the last 5 Kentucky Derby Prep Season races before the points increase and we find ourselves in the Derby Championship races. Things are certainly beginning to heat up, especially with this year’s Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Again if you have been living under a rock or just happened to miss it, the Kentucky Derby Points System is how we now decide what horses will make it to the Kentucky Derby. Be sure and read up on the points system here- 2014 Kentucky Derby Points System. In last year’s edition of the Holy Bull, Itsmyluckyday upset favorite Shanghai Bobby by 2 lengths. From there, Itsmyluckyday went on to run 2nd in the Florida Derby, put up a disappointing 15th place in the Kentucky Derby, but then found considerable redemption running 2nd in the Preakness behind Oxbow. This year’s Holy Bull Stakes should prove to be just as exciting as last year’s, so let’s get started by taking a look at what happened in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct-

 

2014 Holy Bull

Cairo PrinceThe big talk in this year’s $400,000 Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes is about Cairo Prince at 3 to 1 on the morning line. The Kiaran McLaughlin trained horse lost by a heart-breaking nose to Honor Code in his last outing in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct, but was undefeated in the starts prior to that race. He won his maiden in his career debut at Belmont in October by 2 ¾ lengths and then followed that up with a 2 ½ length victory in the Grade 2 Nashua at Aqueduct. If Cairo Prince and jockey, Luis Saez, pull this off, he would tie Honor Code and Havana for the top spot on the Kentucky Derby Points System leaderboard. I like Cairo Prince here and I certainly won’t count him out, but he’s just not going to pay that much, in my opinion. If he stalks, I think he’ll get the job done, but if he struggles to gain the early lead from the horde of other horses who will want it, it’ll be a problem. Another horse that could be a real threat is Coup de Grace at 4 to 1 on the ML. The Chad Brown trained horse is undefeated in 2 starts and looks great. He’ll have John Velazquez in the irons and his works look awesome. Unfortunately, he has only shown us one gear so far- get to the front and don’t look back. This could be a problem, as stated earlier. Wicked StrongMy value play in this one is Wicked Strong at 8 to 1 on the morning line. He ran 3rd in the Grade 2 Remsen, but how he ran that race is important to me. Where Cairo Prince (who ran 2nd) actually lost ground in the Remsen, Wicked Strong was steadily gaining. He also had to make a move from the inside rail to the outside and still had plenty of run to give. Be sure and check out the replay above and keep an eye on Wicked Strong. I look for the James Jerkin trained horse to finish “wicked strong” in the Holy Bull and pull off an upset here. Having Javier Castellano in the irons can’t hurt him, either. For a longshot, I’m looking at Best Plan Yet to show out here, if he settles into a stalking position. Don’t let the 20 to 1 morning line odds fool you. This horse has much potential and could be your “best plan yet” for a pay-off in this race. Good luck everybody!

 

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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