Multiple Graded Winners Among 26 Nominees to $350,000 Holy Bull (G2)
Jan 25, 2018
Headlines Fives Graded Stakes Worth $950,000 in Purses Saturday, Feb. 3
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Just a week after hosting the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), the world’s richest race, Gulfstream Park gets the graded portion of its prestigious series of stakes for 3-year-olds under way with the 29th running of the $350,000 Holy Bull (G2).
Led by 2017 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Free Drop Billy, a total of 26 3-year-olds were nominated for the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull, one of five graded stakes worth $950,000 in purses on the Saturday, Feb. 3 program.
Free Drop Billy was second in the Sanford (G3) and Hopeful (G1) last summer at Saratoga before his breakthrough, four-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. He capped the year finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
A chestnut son of 2012 Belmont (G1) winner Union Rags, Free Drop Billy joins Dale Romans-trained stablemates Bandito, Ellis Park Juvenile winner Dak Attack, multiple graded-stakes placed Hollywood Star, Jerome runner-up Seven Trumpets and Tiz Mischief and Promises Fulfilled, second and third, respectively, in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), among Holy Bull nominees.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin nominated a pair of graded stakes winners in Avery Island and Enticed, both owned by Godolphin Racing. Avery Island, by 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense, won the one-mile Nashua (G2) Nov. 5 at Aqueduct and was second in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2) four weeks later.
Enticed, a son of multiple Grade 1 winner Medaglia d’Oro, broke his maiden at first asking and was third to Firenze Fire and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Good Magic in the Champagne (G1) before edging Tiz Mischief by a head in the Kentucky Jockey Club Nov. 25.
Other graded winners among nominees are Flameaway, who captured the Bourbon (G3) over a sloppy track before returning to turf to take the Kitten’s Joy Jan. 6 at Gulfstream; and Untamed Domain, a son of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom that has raced exclusively on grass including a win in the Summer (G2) at Woodbine and a second by a length in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
Gulfstream’s 14-time defending Championship Meet-leading trainer Todd Pletcher, winner of last year’s Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream and Kentucky Derby, nominated seven horses including Noble Indy and Vino Rosso, both undefeated through two starts; Audible, a winner of two straight; multiple stakes winner Bal Harbour; recent Gulfstream maiden winner Navistar; and multiple stakes-placed Pony Up.
Diamond King, a winner of three of four starts including the Heft Stakes Dec. 30 at Laurel Park last out; Miss Mo Mentum, an 8 ¾-length winner of the one-mile Hut Hut Dec. 9 at Gulfstream; and Speed Franco, winner of the Pulpit over Gulfstream’s turf on the same card, are also nominated.
Sophomores will also take center stage in the $200,000 Swale (G3) at seven furlongs, which attracted 18 nominations including seven from the Holy Bull, and the $100,00 Dania Beach (G3) at one mile on the grass.
Leading the Swale nominees are Piven, Aequor and Empire Power, the top three finishers from the six-furlong Limehouse Jan. 6 at Gulfstream; Street Sense Stakes winner Gotta Go; Pletcher-trained Impact Player, a winner of his last two races, both at Gulfstream; Inaugural Stakes winner Tricks to Doo; Wildcat’s Legacy, winner of the Juvenile Sprint Nov. 11 at Gulfstream Park West; and Strike Power, an impressive eight-length debut winner Dec. 23 at Gulfstream.
A total of 22 horses were nominated to the Dania Beach including Empire Power, Flameaway, Strike Power and Untamed Domain; Awad Stakes winner Therapist; Armed Forces Stakes winner Renaissance Frolic; Pletcher-trained Grade 3-placed stablemates Maraud and Mojovation; and stakes-placed Bon Raison and Forever Taken.
Sophomore fillies are featured in the $200,000 Forward Gal (G3) at seven furlongs and the $100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) at one mile on turf. Bill Witman’s Cicatrix, undefeated through two starts including the Glitter Woman Jan. 6 at Gulfstream, and multiple stakes winner Take Charge Paula top 16 nominees to the Forward Gal, while the Sweetest Chant drew 23 nominations led by stakes winners Malibu Saint and Thewayiam and graded-stakes placed Cash Out and Data Dependent.