HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Nashua (G2) winner Cairo Prince, Dania Beach (G3) winner Mr Speaker, undefeated Coup de Grace and Gulfstream Park Derby runner-up Wildcat Red are nominated and expected to run January 25 in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
The 1 1/16 mile Holy Bull is a major prep for Gulfstream's $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2) February 22 and the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) March 29.
Also nominated to the Holy Bull were Remsen (G2) winner Honor Code, Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (G1) winner We Miss Artie, Bourbon (G3) winner Poker Player and Gulfstream Park Derby winner General a Rod.
Cairo Prince, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, followed up his victory Nov. 3 in the Nashua by being beaten by a nose in the Remsen by Honor Code. The son of Pioneerof the Nile will be making his first start since Nov. 30.
Those expected to meet Cairo Prince in the Holy Bull include Wicked Strong. Owned by Centennial Farms and trained by James Jerkens, Wicked Strong, named in tribute to the Boston Marathon bombing victims, broke his maiden in October at Belmont before finishing third in the Remsen by only a half length.
Trainer Shug McGaughey is expected to saddle Mr Speaker in the Holy Bull. The son of Pulpit won the Dania Beach impressively at Gulfstream Dec. 21, but the Holy Bull will be his first start across dirt after four races on the turf. Trainer Todd Pletcher is expected to saddle Intense Holiday, a son of Harlan's Holiday who finished fourth in both the Remsen and Nashua and fifth in the Champage (G1).
Coup de Grace has won his only two starts for trained Chad Brown. A son of Tapit, the colt's last victory came Dec. 15 at Gulfstream over a mile. Wildcat Red set all the fractions in the Gulfstream Park Derby before being headed by General a Rod at the finish line on New Year's Day.
Others looking at the Holy Bull include Our Caravan (trained by Michael Dilger), Nashua runner-up Financial Mogul (trained by Richard Violette), Grey Stakes (G3) runner-up Big Bazinga (trained by Katerina Vassilieva), and Swynford Stakes winner Conquest Titan (trained by Mark Casse).