Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Hero Fierceness Tops Holy Bull Noms List
Pletcher Trainee Scheduled to Start in Feb. 3 Florida Derby Prep
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Repole Stable’s Fierceness, a dominating winner of the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), tops a list of 23 nominations for the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher has scheduled the Feb. 3 prep for the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) as the first start of the son of City of Light’s 3-year-old campaign.
The Holy Bull will be featured on a program that will also include the $175,000 Kitten’s Joy (G3), $175,000 Sweetest Chant and the $125,000 Claiborne Farm Swale.
Fierceness, who scored an 11 ¼-length debut score over a pair of next-out winners over a muddy Saratoga track Aug. 25 before finishing off the board following a troubled start in the Oct. 7 Champagne on a sloppy Aqueduct surface, was impressive in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita while making his first start around two turns and on a fast track.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Walmac Farm’s Locked, who finished third in the Juvenile after winning the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland; Noted, who rebounded from an off-the-board Juvenile finish with a victory in the Dec. 9 Pulpit over Gulfstream’s turf course; Stonestreet Stables LLC’s Cardinale, who won his debut before losing by a neck in an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream; St. Elias Stable and Repole Stable’s Agate Road, who finished second on turf in the Dania Beach at Gulfstream following an off-the-board finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1); and St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Born Noble, a recent debut winner at Gulfstream; were also nominated to the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull by Pletcher, although Fierceness is the only one who is presently scheduled to run.
Fierceness is currently scheduled to use the Holy Bull as a prep for the March 30 Curlin Florida Derby – the same schedule Pletcher set for Audible, who won the 2017 Holy Bull and Florida Derby before finishing third in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Courtlandt Farms’ Change of Command, who is coming off highly promising back-to-back victories at Gulfstream Park for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, is also prominent among the nominees for the Holy Bull.
The son of Into Mischief, who was purchased at the 2022 Keeneland September sale for $1,050,000, broke through win an impressive maiden score at seven furlongs Dec. 17 before withstanding race-long pressure to prevail over Cardinale in his two-turn debut Jan. 5.
Ribble Farms LLC’s Honor Marie, who captured the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in his 2-year-old campaign finale; has been nominated to the Holy Bull by trainer D. Whitworth Beckham.
Trainer Jose D’Angelo is represented on the Holy Bull noms list by Leon King Stable Corp.’s Bentornato, who dominated the first two legs of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes before his bid for a series sweep fell short by a length in the final; Morplay Racing’s No More Time, a son of Not This Time who finished fifth in the Jan. 1 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream following a troubled start; and Tom Durant’s Big City, a son of City of Light who finished second behind Born Noble in his recent debut at Gulfstream.
WinStar Farm LLC and Siena Farm LLC’s Otello, a son of Curlin who remained undefeated in two starts with a late-running half-length victory in the one-turn mile Mucho Macho Man, is nominated to the Holy Bull, along with Holly Crest Farm’s Sea Streak, and Mark Grier’s Inveigled, who finished third and fourth, respectively, behind Otello.
Trainer Katarina Vassilieva nominated Chiefswood Stables United’s Piper’s Factor, who was runner-up in the Nov. 4 Grey Cup (G3) and Nov. 25 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine.
Brad Grady and David Grund’s Seminole Chief, who captured the $300,000 In Reality final of the Florida Sire Stakes series, and C T R Stables LLC’s Colorado Cruiser, a maiden winner at Santa Anita in his most recent start, have been nominated to the Holy Bull by trainer Jack Sisterson.
Trainer Antonio Sano, who saddled Gunnevera for a runner-up finish in the 2017 Holy Bull, has nominated Alexandres LLC’s Dancing Groom, who finished third in the Champagne prior to an off-the-board finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club; and Cammarota Racing LLC’s Secret Lover, who finished second behind Seminole Chief in the In Reality.
Screen Door Stables LLC’s Squints, who captured the Nov. 22 Juvenile Sprint for Florida-breds at Gulfstream; D J Stable LLC’s Hades, undefeated in two starts at Gulfstream; Mellon Patch Inc.’s Patriot Sprint, who captured the six-furlong Inaugural at Tampa Bay Downs Dec. 2; are also on the Holy Bull noms list.
The Kitten’s Joy received 21 nominations, including Pletcher-trained Noted and Agate Road. Qatar Racing and Hunter Valley Farm’s First World War, who broke his maiden on turf before a gutsy second-place finish behind Otello on dirt in the Mucho Macho Man, as been nominated to the Kitten’s Joy, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds.
Klaravich Stables Inc.’s Move to Gold, who broke his maiden in the Oct. 28 Awad at Aqueduct for trainer Chad Brown, is prominent among the Kitten’s Joy nominees.
Granpollo Stables LLC’s Grand Mo the First, who finished third on turf in the Oct. 8 Zuma Beach (G3) at Santa Anita after launching his career with two victories on Tapeta at Gulfstream, has been nominated to the Kitten’s Joy by trainer Victor Barboza.
Lugamo Racing Stable LLC’s Tocayo, Twin Brook Stables and partners’ Depiction and Wathnan Racing’s Edgartown, who finished first, third and fourth, respectively, in the Jan. 6 Dania Beach at Gulfstream are nominated for a return in the Kitten’s Joy.
The Sweetest Chant, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies attracted 19 nominations, including Gary Barber’s Witwatersrand, who captured the Mazarine (G3) on Tapeta last time out at Woodbine; Nancy Delony, William Pacella and Frank Shoop’s Pharoah’s Wine, a son of American Pharoah who finished second in the Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland two starts back; and Repole Stable’s Life’s an Audible, who finished second in the Miss Grillo (G2) at Aqueduct before finishing second in the Ginger Brew last time out at Gulfstream.
The Swale, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, drew 20 nominations, Mike McCarthy’s Gold Sweep, who finished second in the six-furlong Sanford (G3), sixth in the seven-furlong Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga and fourth in the mile Champagne at Aqueduct for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.