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2015 Holy Bull

Gulfstream’s Holy Bull Stakes

Far Right Wins Smarty JonesIt’s time for another Kentucky Derby Points Race on Saturday, January 24th with this year’s edition of the $400,000 Grade 2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream. This race is a part of the 2015 Kentucky Derby Points System where the winner receives 10 points towards a possible Kentucky Derby entry. If you are unfamiliar with the points system, you can read up on it here- 2015 Kentucky Derby Points System. You’ll want to bookmark that page as we will be keeping up with the points leaders, races and replays leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby to help you with your handicapping efforts. Before we jump into the Holy Bull, let’s recap Monday’s Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn. I really believed that Mr. Z was going to take the Smarty Jones and coming down the stretch it looked like he would… until he began to bare out! Not good Mr. Z, not good at all. He managed to finish 3rd. The good news is that since he was the favorite, I offered up 2 value plays that I bet and boy, am I glad I did! My top value play was Far Right who won it all and paid $7.40 for the win. My second pick was Private Prospect who made it up for 4th. In hindsight, I wish I had played the superfecta! I had 3 of the top 4 finishers and I would have easily mixed in Bayerd for another pick… but such is the life of the handicapper, lol. Let’s see what we can find in the Holy Bull!

2015 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

UpstartThe $400,000 Grade 2 Holy Bull is Race 9 on Saturday’s card at Gulfstream and will feature 10 three year olds traveling 1 1/16 mile. The morning line favorite is Upstart at 2 to 1. In his last outing, Upstart finished 3rd in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after a slow start. Prior to that race he ran second in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont, 1st in the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga and 1st in a 73k straight maiden at Saratoga. So far in his career, Upstart seems to be a natural stalker and I would look for him to do the same in the Holy Bull. Next in the morning line odds is Frosted at 5 to 2.  Frosted is coming out of a 2nd place finish in the Grade 2 Remsen where he missed the win by ½ of a length. He also likes to stalk, although the only time he won, he went for the early lead. Looking at the form, the way this race plays out may very well depend on how Frosted runs here. There seems to be quite a bit of early speed in this one, which could set up for a stalker or come-from-behind horse. If Frosted gets tangled up in the early speed, it will give Upstart a great shot at winning this one. Since Frosted is on the rail, he may do just that and try to go out front before everyone else. That would make things difficult for Bluegrass Singer (4 to 1 on the morning line.) Although there are quite a few horses here that like the early lead, Blugrass Singer is the standout. If he goes alone- it should be all his for the taking. But I’m almost positive that Frosted will be forced to go with him and that could be problematic for both of them and would give Upstart the advantage. FrammentoBut like the Smarty Jones, I don’t want to give you the favorite here, so I’m looking for the value play. Don’t get me wrong- Upstart will be tough to beat, but I think we might have 2 potential value plays. My top selection is Frammento at 12 to 1 on the ML. He likes to make a mid-pack to late move and that could be very valuable to him here. He has shown steady improvements in each of his four outings in terms of speed figures and he is sporting a nice 4 furlong work on January 15th that says he’ll be ready. With Luis Saez at the helm, I think he will put up a great effort here and may very well upset the field. My second choice is Keen Ice at 6 to 1 on the morning line. He likes to make that late move, too, but I am concerned about his speed figures. Good luck everybody!

 

 

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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of HandicapHorseRacing.com. With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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