2017 Holy Bull Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will play host to the G2 Lambholm Holy Bull Stakes on Saturday, February 4. Three year olds will take to Gulfstream's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's share of the $350,000 purse and the 10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby.

A strong field of nine will give it a go in the Holy Bull Stakes - race 12 on Gulfstream's stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:35 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all nine combatants for this intriguing "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points gathering G2 stakes.

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2017 Holy Bull Stakes Entries at Gulfstream Park

Classic Empire - Mark Casse trained Eclipse Award winning 2-year-old colt was very good in his first two career starts - two wins - in the G3 Bashford Manor Stakes with an impressive 105 Beyer Speed Figure July 2 and a maiden score at first asking May 4 - both results at Churchill Downs . He followed that with a very disappointing DNF as favorite after losing his rider in the G1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga September 5 but has bounced in a huge way lately - a good win in the G1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 8 was followed by an impressive win last time out in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Classic Empire now has four wins in five career starts against some top fields and is expected to be strong again Saturday from post 3 with Julien Leparoux aboard the obvious favorite in this race.

Gunnevera - has three wins and a second place finish in six career starts for trainer Antonio Sano. Last time out was a terrific win by 5 3/4 lengths in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot November 19 which followed a fifth behind the terrific Classic Empire among others in the G1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 8 and a good eye-opening win with a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in the G2 Saratoga Special August 14. He broke maiden July 16 in his third career start and also had a fourth in the minor Birdonthewire Stakes July 2. Gunnevera has won two of his last three starts (both graded stakes) and will try to make it two straight Saturday with Javier Castellano in the saddle from the rail.

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Irish War Cry - Graham Motion trained colt will hit the track for the third time Saturday looking to remain perfect. Last time out his win came in the restricted Marylander Stakes December 31 after a maiden score at first asking November 11 - both at Laurel Park. Irish War Cry steps into graded stakes company for the first time Saturday off a career best effort with Joel Rosario in the saddle from post 5.

Fact Finding - has three career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher with three wins. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday off a win in the minor Smooth Air Stakes on this track December 10 which followed his Allowance score October 12 and a maiden score at first asking - at Saratoga in August. Fact Finding looks to remain unbeaten when he steps up from gate 6 with John Velazquez guiding him.

Talk Logistics - has three career starts for trainer Edward Plesa with a win, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a third in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes here January 7 after a second in the minor Buffalo Man Stakes on this track December 10 and a maiden score at first asking - at Parx in July. Talk Logistics has been OK so far in his career and will be after his first stakes score from gate 4 Saturday. Paco Lopez has the mount.

Shamsaan - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt has four career starts with just one win - that coming last time out in a MSW on this track December 10. He started his career with a sixth and two fifth place finishes in MSW races in New York. Shamsaan hadn't been all that impressive before last time out and will try to maintain that momentum post 7 with Luis Saez in the irons.

Cavil - has one win in three career starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. He debuted with an eighth at Belmont Park in October and broke maiden after that - at Aqueduct December 2. He made his stakes debut last time out and stumbled to a sixth in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes on this track January 7. Cavil hasn't been all that great so far but will be in search of a breakthrough performance from gate 8 Saturday. Jose Lezcano rides.

Fire for Effect - will hit the track for just the third time for trainer Dale Romans having posted one win so far. That win came last time out - on this track January 7 after a fifth in his debut at Churchill Downs November 20. Fire for Effect takes a major step up in competition in OK form and will leave from the outside post 9 with Corey Lanerie guiding him.

Perro Rojo - Nick Zito trained colt has just one win in his six career starts - that coming in his second career start. He hasn't been all that great since - last time out was a seventh in the minor Mucho Macho Man Stakes here January 7 after an eighth in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 26, a sixth in the minor Street Sense Stakes on that track October 30 and a tenth in the G1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October. Perro Rojo hasn't been impressive so far but hopes to change his fortunes around from gate 2 Saturday. Nik Juarez rides.

2017 Holy Bull Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 12 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:35 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Gunnevera 9-2 Javier Castellano Antonio Sano
2 Perro Rojo 30-1 Nik Juarez Nicholas Zito
3 Classic Empire 3-5 Julien Leparoux Mark Casse
4 Talk Logistics 12-1 Paco Lopez Edward Plesa, Jr.
5 Irish War Cry 15-1 Joel Rosario H. Motion
6 Fact Finding 6-1 John Velazquez Todd Pletcher
7 Shamsaan 20-1 Luis Saez Kiaran McLaughlin
8 Cavil 15-1 Jose Lezcano Kiaran McLaughlin
9 Fire for Effect 20-1 Corey Lanerie Dale Romans

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