2023 Holy Bull Stakes Contenders at Gulfstream Park

Horse Betting Online

Edited Gulfstream Park Press Release
Updated: February 02, 2023

Holy Bull Offers 20-8-6-4-2 Kentucky Derby Points To Top-Five Finishers

Trainer Dale Romans won't be lacking in confidence when he saddles Cyclone Mischief for a start in the $250,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, February 4.

"I think he's one of the best 3-year-olds in the country, and he's training like one," Romans said. "There are a lot of good horses out there, but we're in a good spot right now."

The Holy Bull, a 1 1/16-mile stakes on the road to the Triple Crown, will headline a program with five graded stakes for 3-year-olds.

The Holy Bull offers Kentucky Derby qualifications points to the top five finishers on a 20-8-6-4-2 basis.

2023 Holy Bull Stakes Field & Odds

Race 12 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, February 4 - Post 5:43 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Lord Miles 4-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr.
118 Lbs
Saffie Joseph, Jr.
2 West Coast Cowboy 12-1 Edgard Zayas
118 Lbs
Saffie Joseph, Jr.
3 Shadow Dragon 15-1 Jose Ortiz
118 Lbs
William Mott
4 Cyclone Mischief 2-1 Tyler Gaffalione
120 Lbs
Dale Romans
5 Mr Bob 10-1 Joel Rosario
118 Lbs
Robert Falcone, Jr.
6 Legacy Isle 7-2 Luis Saez
120 Lbs
Rohan Crichton
7 Il Miracolo 20-1 Leonel Reyes
118 Lbs
Antonio Sano
8 Rocket Can 7-2 Junior Alvarado
118 Lbs
William Mott

Albaugh Family Stable LLC and Castleton Lyons' Cyclone Mischief is coming off an eye-catching Jan. 8 optional claiming allowance victory at Gulfstream. The son of Into Mischief, who was purchased for $450,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September sale, saved ground while stalking the early pace before making a three-wide sweep to take the lead on the turn into the homestretch and drawing off to win by 5 ¾ lengths.

Romans had identified Cyclone Mischief as a colt with Triple Crown potential before he made the first start of his career - a third-place finish in a mile maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs Sept. 16 in which he set a pressured pace before weakening late.

"He was a horse we were pointing for the Triple Crown trail. He got started late, so we started him out long," Romans said.

Cyclone Mischief came back a month later to graduate with authority in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race at Keeneland, where he contested the early pace before drawing clear by 5 ¼ lengths. In his stakes debut in the Nov. 26 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), he took the lead in the stretch after contesting the pace but faltered to finish seventh, beaten by 2 ¾ lengths by victorious Instant Coffee, who came back to win the Le Comte (G3) Jan. 21 at Fair Grounds.

"That was a very good race," Romans said.

Cyclone Mischief has breezed twice since his most promising 3-year-old debut, including a five-furlong workout in 1:01.41 Saturday morning

"Cyclone is coming into the race as good as he can," Romans said.

Tyler Gaffalione, who rode Cyclone Mischief for the first time in his Gulfstream score, has the return mount.

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Daniel Walters, Dennis Smith, Anthony Smith and trainer Rohan Crichton's Legacy Isle would have been bringing an undefeated record into the Holy Bull had he not been disqualified from first in the Jan. 1 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream.

The son of Shackleford graduated by five lengths at 6 ½ furlongs before taking a mile optional claiming allowance by three lengths. Legacy Island prevailed in the Mucho Macho Man by a half-length but was disqualified and placed second for drifting out late into Dreaming of Kona, who was awarded the victory.

Hall of Fame Bill Mott, who saddled Art Collector for a victory in Saturday's $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), has entered two 3-year-olds in the Holy Bull - Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc's Rocket Can and Peachtree Stable's Shadow Dragon.

Rocket Can, also a son of Into Mischief, broke his maiden at third asking n his first try around two turns, graduating by two lengths Oct. 30 at Churchill Downs. The $245,000 purchase at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale came back to finish second, beaten by a half-length, is an optional claiming allowance in his juvenile finale at Churchill Downs.

"Rocket Can broke his maiden and is coming off a good allowance race. He ran a pretty creditable race at Churchill," Mott said. "He has sort of improved steadily with each start."

Shadow Dragon, a New York-bred son of Army Mule, won at first asking at Aqueduct Sept. 29 before finishing off the board in the mile Sleepy Hollow of state-breds.

The New York-bred won first out and didn't show much the second race. [Peachtree Stable's] Mr. [John] Fort wants to take a shot and see where we're at and then we'll obviously reevaluate after we see the race," Mott said.

Junior Alvarado, who rode Art Collector to victory Saturday, has the call on Rocket Can, while Jose Ortiz has the mount aboard Shadow Dragon.

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. is also represented by a pair of colts in the Holy Bull field - Vegso Racing Stable's Lord Miles and Gentry Farms' West Coast Cowboy.

Lord Miles made an auspicious debut Nov. 19 at Gulfstream, overcoming early bumping to win by 5 ¾ lengths going away. The homebred son of Curlin dropped well off the early pace in the Mucho Macho Man before surging late to finish third, less than a length behind Legacy Isle.

Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on Lord Miles, while Edgard Zayas is named on West Coast Cowboy.

West Coast Cowboy won at first asking at Gulfstream Sept. 18 with a front-running narrow victory at a mile. The son of West Coast raced evenly in his return to finish fourth behind Legacy Isle in a Nov. 27 optional claiming allowance.

John Grossi's Racing Corp., Beast Mode Racing LLC and trainer Robert Falcone Jr.'s Mr Bob, who was claimed for $75,000 out of a third-place finish in his debut at Saratoga, graduated for his new connections for a $150,000 claiming price at Keeneland Oct. 28. The son of Practical Joke came back to finish a close second in the 6 ½-furlong Ed Brown Stakes at Churchill Downs. He finished sixth in the Mucho Macho Man after a slow start.

Joel Rosario is scheduled to ride Mr Bob for the first time in the Holy Bull.

Alex Andres' Il Miracolo, who broke his maiden impressively at Gulfstream Park in November, enters the Holy Bull off a pair of off-the-board finishes in the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct and the Mucho Macho Man.

Leonel Reyes, who was aboard for Il Miracolo's maiden win, will return aboard the Antonio Sano trainee.

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Pre-Draw News

2023 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) Nominees

JAN 25 - West Paces Racing LLC and Stonestreet Stables LLC's Dubyuhnell, who captured the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct in his final juvenile start, heads a list of 30 nominees for the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3), scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park.

The Holy Bull, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds on the Gulfstream's Road to the Triple Crown, will headline a program with four other graded stakes for 3-year-olds - The $175,000 Kitten's Joy (G3), $175,000 Sweetest Chant (G3), $125,000 Claiborne Swale (G3) and $125,000 Forward Gal (G3).

Trained by Danny Gargan, Dubyuhnell pressed the pace in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen before edging away to a half-length victory. The son of Good Magic, who debuted with a fourth-place finish in a seven-furlong sprint at Saratoga Sept. 3, rallied from off the pace to graduate Oct. 2 at a mile at Aqueduct before capturing the Remsen.

The first three finishes in the Jan. 1 Mucho Macho Man, the first stakes on the road to the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1), are nominated to the Holy Bull. Daniel Walters, Dennis G. Smith, Anthony Smith and trainer Rohan Crichton's Legacy Isle, Aldana Gonzalez Racing LLC and Lisa and Steve Ballou's Dreaming of Kona and Vegso Racing Stable's Lord Miles finished 1-2-3 in the one-turn mile Mucho Macho Man. Legacy Isle, who had easily won his first two career starts, was disqualified for drifting out in the stretch and placed second. Aldana Speith-trained Dreaming of Kona was placed first.

The Holy Bull has been a target for Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Castleton Lyons' Cyclone Mischief since the son of Into Mischief's dazzling 5 ¾-length optional claiming allowance win Jan. 6 at Gulfstream. The Dale Romans trainee broke his maiden in his second career start by 5 ¼ lengths at Keeneland before setting the pace into the stretch run of Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs before weakening late.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher is represented on the Holy Bull nominations list by Whisper Hill Farm LLC's Classic Catch and Tapit Twice, Three Diamonds Farm's Dude N Colorado, Spendthrift Farm LLC's Kingsbarns and Major Dude, Centennial Farm's Litigate, and Robert LaPenta's Shesterkin.

Classic Catch, Tapit Twice, Dune N Colorado, Kingsbarns, Litigate and Shesterkin are all promising maiden winners, while Major Dude captured the Pilgrim (G2) on turf and most recently finished second in the Dania Beach on turf at Gulfstream.

Gary Barber's Classic Car Wash has been nominated to the Holy Bull following back-to-back wins at Gulfstream. Trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse, the son of Noble Bird broke his maiden at seven furlongs in his second career start before stretching out around two turns on Tapeta to score an impressive 2 ½-length optional claiming allowance.

Courtlandt Farms' General Jim, who finished fourth as the favorite in the Mucho Macho Man following back-to-back wins and a third-place stakes finish in New York; Imaginary Stables' Howgreatisnate, who is undefeated in four starts in the Mid-Atlantic; and the Bill Mott-trained trio, Bruce Lunsford's Classic Legacy, Frank Fletcher Racing Operations Inc's Rocket Can and Peachtree Stable's Shadow Dragon; are also prominent on the Holy Bull nominations list.

The Kitten's Joy, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes, attracted 22 nominations, including Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson's Bluebirds Over, an undefeated son of English Channel who captured the Grey (G3) at Woodbine last time out; John Oxley and Breeze Easy LLC's Bobby O, who captured the With Anticipation (G3) at Saratoga; Spendthrift Farm LLC's Major Dude, who won the Pilgrim (G2) at Aqueduct; and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Ari Gold, who captured the Pulpit over Gulfstream Park's turf last time out.

The Sweetest Chant, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for fillies, also drew 22 nominations, including Repole Stable and Town and Country LLC's Cairo Consort, who captured the Ginger Brew at Gulfstream Jan. 7 after winning the Catch a Glimpse Stakes and finishing second in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine during her juvenile season; and Madaket Stables LLC, Michael Dubb, Seventh Sense Stable and E5 Racing Thoroughbreds LLC's Anna Karenine, a stakes winner in France who has yet to make her U.S. debut.

The Claiborne Swale, a seven-furlong sprint, attracted 17 nominations, Lea Farms LLC's Super Chow, who finished third in the Saratoga Special (G2) at Saratoga before winning four straight races (three stakes); AM Racing USA's New York Thunder, who has won his first two career starts with authority at Gulfstream; Spendthrift Farm LLC's Major Dude, a graded-stakes winner on turf who broke his maiden at first asking over Saratoga's main track; .and K and R Racing Stable and Town Branch Racing's Two of a Kind, the Tremont winner at Belmont before coming off a six-month layoff to finish third behind Super Chow in the Limehouse.

The Forward Gal, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies, attracted 19 nominations, including Stonestreet Stables LLC's Julia Shining, who captured the Demoiselle (G2) after breaking her maiden at first asking; Ashbrook Farm and Upland Flats Racing's Red Carpet Ready, who is unchallenged in two career starts; and Klaravich Stables Inc.'s Undervalued Asset, a sharp 8 ¼-length debut winner at Aqueduct.

Holy Bull Stakes History

The Holy Bull Stakes is held annually in late-January or early-February at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The Holy Bull Stakes is for three-year-olds and is run on a dirt surface, left-handed track at a distance of 1 1/16 miles (or 8.5 furlongs). From 2007 to 2012 it was contested at different lengths, ranging from 1 mile to 1 3/16 miles.

It was previously named the Preview Stakes and was created to replace the Flamingo Stakes. It was renamed after Hall of Fame racehorse Holy Bull in 1996, and it was named the Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes in 2015.

From 1991 to 2004, the Holy Bull Stakes was contested without a graded stakes designation. In 1993, the American Graded Stakes Committee upgraded it to a grade three race, and it was then upgraded again to a grade two level race in 2014. The Holy Bull Stakes is included in the prep race circuit for the Kentucky Derby, and awards ten qualifying points to the winner. Two horses have won the Kentucky Derby and the Holy Bull in the same year: Go for Gin (1994) and Barbaro (2006). Closing Argument finished second in the Kentucky Derby the year he won the Holy Bull Stakes (2005).