The Road to the Kentucky Derby goes through Hallandale, Florida on Saturday as a field of 10 will line up in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G2), with Frosted looking like the one to beat.
The Holy Bull is a Derby points race with 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs for the top four finishers. The race is one of five stakes on the Saturday afternoon card at Gulfstream Park.
The race is the first of three key Derby preps at Gulfstream Park. It serves as a prep for the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb. 21 and the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 28.
Kiaran McLaughlin will send out Frosted, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. The colt ran second in the Remsen (G2) as the 9-5 favorite in his final start of his juvenile campaign.
McLaughlin won last year’s Holy Bull with Cairo Prince, who became an early betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby. He then ran fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) and was knocked off the Derby trail when he sustained an injury to his left front ankle.
Upstart is the 2-1 morning line favorite for trainer Rick Violette. The ridgling makes his first start since running third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). He earned two Derby points for that effort along with four points for his runner up finish in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park last October.
Earlier on the card a field of eight was entered in the $150,000 Hutcheson (G3) at seven furlongs, which could produce a Derby hopeful or two.
Barbados is the 9-5 morning line favorite and is coming off a sharp score in the six furlong Spectacular Bid on Jan. 3, which was off a 2 ½ month break. The Michael Tomlinson trainee will be ridden by Luis Saez.
Saturday’s card also features the $100,000 Sweet Chant (G3) for three-year-old fillies on turf, the $200,000 Forward Gal (G2) for three-year-old fillies on dirt and the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy for three-year-olds on turf going a mile.
My Best Plays will include selections for all of the stakes action.
Let’s head out to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Gulfstream Park Race 9 The Holy Bull (G2) Post time 4:34 ET
1 Frosted 5-2
8 Upstart 2-1
4 Bluegrass Singer 4-1
2 Keen Ice 6-1
Frosted makes his three-year-old debut here for the Kiaran McLaughlin barn that won last year’s edition of the Holy Bull with Cairo Prince. The colt broke his maiden in his third career start, and then was a game second in the Remsen (G2) in his stakes debut. He had to break from the 13 post and tracked the pace while wide throughout over a racing strip that was playing to inside speed that day. The colt has worked sharply at Palm Meadows since his last outing. He is by Tapit out of the stakes winner Fast Cookie ($557,480) who has dropped two other winners.
Upstart makes his first start since running a decent third after a less than stellar trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). He missed the place spot by just a nose to Carpe Diem. The ridgling was a good second in the Champagne (G1) two back at Belmont Park in the slop, earning a 102 Beyer. He is one of four in here with a stakes win, taking the state bred Funny Cide last summer at the Spa in his second career outing.
Bluegrass Singer is coming off an impressive victory in the Mucho Macho Man in the mud over the main track here in gate to wire fashion. He is cross entered in today’s Hutcheson (G3) but his connections have indicated he likely will land here. The gelding owns a solid pace profile throughout with good early and mid pace numbers.
WIN: Frosted to win at 2-1 or better.
EXACTA: 1,8 / 1,2,4,8
TRIFECTA: 1,8 / 1,2,4,8 / 1,2,4,6,8
Catch Derby Fever with Michael Dempsey’s Road to the Kentucky Derby Package! Subscribers receive ALL of Michael’s Saturday’s Reports now until the first Saturday of May! Included in the package is coverage of all of the major Derby preps, his Best Plays Report and his full card reports each Saturday! In addition, this package includes his Kentucky Oaks Day and Kentucky Derby Day Reports! A $400 value for just $119.95!