The first of three Kentucky Derby qualifiers at Gulfstream Park, Saturday’s $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) has attracted a trio of big names among its 11 entrants.
Enticed has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite for Kiaran McLaughlin following a victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Medaglia d’Oro colt will receive a rider switch to Joel Rosario.
Tiz Mischief is one of four entrants for Dale Romans, who is expected to scratch Hollywood Star in favor of the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs a week later. A maiden scorer when stretching out to two turns in October, Tiz Mischief just missed in a head-bobbing finish to Enticed when making his stakes bow in the Kentucky Jockey Club and the confirmed closer figures to be rolling late Saturday with regular rider Robby Albarado. He’s listed as the 4-1 second choice.
Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Free Drop Billy is another top contender for Romans. Bet down as the 7-1 second choice in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), the Union Rags colt spit the bit after being shuffled back in the early stages at Del Mar and looks poised for an improved performance with leading rider Luis Saez taking over the reins.
Mississippi will be scratched and redirected to a Sunday allowance according to Mark Casse.
I have not been enthused by the recent BRIS Speed ratings registered by the probable top three betting choices, with none producing a number better than 93 in the last two starts. Audible is tied for the top last-out Speed rating (94) and could have plenty more to offer for Todd Pletcher.
Audible won a key maiden special weight race on Aqueduct’s main track in mid-November, with the runner-up and third-placer coming back to win their next outing, and wheeled back for an off-the-turf allowance three weeks later. The Into Mischief dominated the entry-level race by nearly 10 lengths and registered the second triple-digit BRIS Last Pace numbers from three career starts. Audible shipped to Florida last month and Pletcher opts for the Holy Bull over the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct on Saturday. I like the confidence.
How we’re playing the Holy Bull:
Audible (#4) will be played straight (Win & Place) and #2 Free Drop Billy will be included in any multi-race wagers.