A competitive field heads to the gate looking for Derby points in the $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday led by the talented Enticed.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee makes his first start since winning the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) last November at Churchill Downs.
The Holy Bull is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race, one of three on Saturday. The $250,000 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct and the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita also offer up 10-4-2-1 Derby points to the top four finishers.
McLaughlin will be seeking his third win in the Holy Bull in the last five years with Enticed, who breaks from the rail with Joel Rosario in the irons and is the 3-1 morning line favorite.
“He kind of didn’t have a perfect trip in the Champagne to be third,” McLaughlin said. “He came out of that race to run at Churchill in a full field. He was in a little tight all the way and he showed a lot of guts and got a lot of education out of the race, being in tight and taking some dirt. It was a very good race, an excellent performance and we hope we can duplicate that Saturday.”
Enticed is currently at 12-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at USRacing.
Trainer Dale Roans has entered four runners including Free Drop Billy (6-1), winner of the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) last fall at Keeneland. He also is represented by Bandito (20-1), Tiz Mischief (4-1) and Hollywood Star (12-1). Romans has stated either Free Drop Billy or Hollywood Star may scratch to await the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) next Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.
“It’s to get them all started, but it also fits for all the horses.,” Romans said. “If I run three, it’ll be for three different owners. I might be better for me to keep them all separated, but I think this is the best race for all these horses to start back this year.”
The 12-race Gulfstream Park card for Saturday features four supporting stakes including the $200,000 Swale (G3) at seven furlongs which could produce a couple of Kentucky Derby contenders.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday will include all three of the Derby points races along with my strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
Let’s head out to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Gulfstream Park Race 12 The Holy Bull G2 (Post time 5:49 ET)
1 Enticed 3-1
2 Free Drop Billy 6-1
4 Audible 6-1
8 Pony Up 8-1
Enticed makes his much anticipated three-year-old debut here for the McLaughlin barn. The colt broke his maiden in his debut in the mud at the Spa and then ran a good third in the Champagne (G1) in his first start against winners. The winner Firenze has come back to win the Jerome in his last start while the runner up Good Magic won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his next outing. Next up was a ship to Churchill Downs where the colt tracked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). The barn has won two of the last four editions of this race—Cairo Prince getting the job done in 2014 and Mohaymen won the race in 2016. The colt has a nice pedigree, by Medaglia d’Oro out of the stakes winner It’s Tricky ($1.6 million), who ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (G1) in 2011 and won three Grade 1 races. This is her first foal to race. Solid works on the morning tab at Palm Meadows.
Free Drop Billy is one of four in here sent out by the Romans barn and at least one will scratch but this guy probably goes here. The colt won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland last fall and was sent off at 7-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) The colt raced near the back, came up the inside which was the deepest part of the racing strip that day and he packed it in, fading to finish a well beaten ninth. He is better than that outing and has worked sharply for his return over the main track here. The $200,000 Keeneland purchase is out of a stakes placed Giant’s Causeway mare that has dropped two other winners including stakes winner Hawkbill.
Audible drew off to beat Alw-1 optional claimers by 9 ¾ lengths last out at Aqueduct in a race washed off the grass in his first start against winners. Two back he broke his maiden against state bred with the runner up and third place finisher both coming back to graduate in their next starts. This colt still appears to have some upside and is in good hands with Pletcher who won this race in 2012 with Algorithms. The $500,000 purchase is by Into Mischief out of a Gilded Time mare that has dropped one other winner. Castellano sticks and he may end up a decent price.
WIN: Enticed to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 1,2 / 1,2,4,8
TRIFECTA: 1,2 / 1,2,4,8 / 1,2,4,7,8
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