Holy Bull Selections

Here is a full field analysis for the Holy Bull, which is slated as race 11 on a card of 12, with a scheduled Post Time of 4:50.

1) JIRAFALES [ML 20-1] Trainer: Gustavo Delgado. Jockey: John Velazquez. Broke his Maiden at first asking with a late run, to Win by almost five lengths at Gulfstream Park West against Florida-breds. He has been off since that November victory. 

 WILLY BOI [ML 10-1] Trainer: Jeff Engler. Jockey: Junior Alvarado. This Florida-bred will make his debut against open company following two pace-pressing Victories versus state-breds at Gulfstream Park. Engler, who has been training since 2009, is seeking his first Win in a Graded Stakes race. 

 PAPETU [ML 15-1] Trainer: Antonio Sano. Jockey: Leonel Reyes. Won his first two starts at Gulfstream Park during the summer at short odds while sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs. At Saratoga, he tried Graded Stakes, twice losing to the speedy JACKIE’S WARRIOR. After a four-month layoff, he came back to run 2nd in a one-turn mile. 

[ML 6-1] Trainer: Todd Pletcher. Jockey: Luis Saez. Won as a first-time starter December 26th at Gulfstream Park as the 3-2 favorite. He got bumped at the start and came away flat-footed but still Won the seven-furlong race by almost six lengths. Coming out of Claiborne Farms, he sold for a relative bargain price of $110,000 as a 2-year-old.  

 TARANTINO [ML 8-1] Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset. Jockey: Edgard Zayas. He was purchased for $610,000 as a yearling by a high-powered partnership of past Kentucky Derby Winners. He is the Winner of two of three starts at a mile on the turf with Maiden and Allowance Victories, along with a 2nd in a Stake race at Santa Anita. For what it’s worth, the dam of TARANTINO produced a Stakes Winner on the dirt. 

6) PRIME FACTOR [ML 3-1] Trainer: Todd Pletcher. Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr. He lived up to the promise of being a $900,000 yearling purchase when he Won his debut at Gulfstream by almost nine lengths at odds of 2-1. That Victory was at six furlongs with basically a front-running effort. This son of QUALITY ROAD is bred to handle any distance. Since his Maiden Win at Gulfstream in December, he has been training at Palm Beach Downs.  

 GREATEST HONOUR [ ML 5-2] Trainer: Shug McGaughey. Jockey: Jose Ortiz. It took this son of TAPIT four tries to break his Maiden. In that race he was sent off at odds of 2-1 and he beat a highly regarded Pletcher runner while rallying from off the pace going two turns. The progeny of TAPIT in most cases need time to mature, it is also worth noting that he ran into very strong fields in his first three races. 

 SITTIN ON GO [ML 5-1] Trainer: Dale Romans. Jockey: Corey Lanerie. He is the only Graded Stakes Winner in the Holy Bull field. He Won his first two starts, which included a late-running Victory in the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs in September going a one-turn mile. His last two starts, which also came as 2-year-old, produced a 9th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and then a 6th in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2).

 AWESOME GERRY [ML 8-1] Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr. Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione. This son of LIAM’S MAP was a debut Winner in July at Gulfstream going five furlongs, and the 2nd- and 3rd-place finishers in that one both came back to Win. With almost three months between races, he Won an Allowance in October at Gulfstream West. In the Mucho Macho Man earlier in this month he set the pace and finished 3rd. 

Summary: The 2021 edition of the Holy Bull is an interesting mix of horses with some Stakes experience and those with impressive Maiden Victories.

SITTIN ON GO is the only Stakes Winner, with a Victory in a Grade 3 last year. PRIME FACTOR, GREATEST HONOUR, and AMOUNT come to the race with fancy pedigrees and high-profile connections following eye-catching Maiden Wins.

The Play: We at the Daily Racing Blog like the four horses mentioned above, so we will use them in the mix. We will also throw in PAPETU to add some Value.

If you have the bank, use all five horses in a Trifecta Box. Understand that the brothers Ortiz are aboard the #6 and #7– both talented horses, so they will both get hammered at the window.

So if not the five horse Trifecta Box, we will opt to Key both the #4 and 8 on top of our Triple. So the ticket will read: 48 with 3-4-6-7-8.

Structured this way, the #4 or 8 must Win while the remaining horses on the ticket can finish in any order for 2nd and 3rd.

Best of luck no matter how you play it.

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