The $250,000 Saint Bull (G3)
is the first of three Gulfstream Park qualifiers for the 2022 Kentucky Derby and is followed by the Fountain of Youth (G2) on March 5 and the Florida Derby on April 2.
A field of nine 3-year-old colts and geldings will contest 1 1/16 miles, including two Breeders’ Cup finalists and the full brother of champion Songbird.
The most likely winners are one of the three low-cost favourites, Mo Donegal, White Abarrio and Giant Game. However, White Abarrio and Giant Game must overcome the formidable outside posts.
Let’s take a closer look at the field.
Mo Donegal (3-1) was wholeheartedly in Remsen’s neck and neck race with rival Zandon, who was pinned on the rail. Trainee Pletcher kept good company in the morning; he went head-to-head with Pegasus Turf hero Colonel Liam in a five-stadia move on January 8.
(6-1) ran out of running room in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes stretch, eventually securing space just half a yard from home. He turned it on and passed some tiring horses to grab third place. It was a great effort for the pretty gray colt who was shipped in from Gulfstream, tried two turns and rated himself for the first time. The Kentucky Jockey Club produced Lecomte’s winner, Call Me Midnight. Saffie trainee Joseph Jr. fired a four furlong shot before the run. Winning contestant.
(7-2) gave a good count against accomplished racehorses to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in his second start. He was spectacular at Gulfstream, and Dale Romans broke through Giant Game through three consecutive five-furlong balls in January, which the colt completed effortlessly. If he loses, it will not be for lack of physical condition. Winning contestant.
Songbird’s own brother Wrong (10-1) is a big two-round guy who needed time to mature. Nonetheless, the Mott trainee was professional on his last start, brushing the rail behind a wall of horses and then moving outside for the race hall. It was all over as soon as he was born, and Galt pulled away three lengths. According to Stats Race Lens, Bill Mott’s past winners have an 18% success rate on their next start. Exotics.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Finalist Tiz the bomb (5-1) takes another hit on the dirt in an experiment to see if he has Kentucky Derby potential. Ken McPeek’s apprentice won his first match on the main track at Ellis Park by 14 1/4 lengths against a weak field and showed class and skill in the Juvenile Turf. On the negative side, how he will handle the dirt on his face if he doesn’t take the lead is a wild card. Tiz The Bomb has a high knee action and does not lower his head when he runs. Exotics.
spin the wheel (20-1) showed athleticism on his third start, cutting the corner and weaving around a tired horse to cross the line first, rising by his nose in a 1 1 first run /8 mile. Only one of his competitors touched the board in his next race; however, the Hard Spun colt earned a 101 Brisnet speed rating late in the race. Rusty Arnold is getting ten percent winners from the young girl’s last winners and is drawing for six on dirt roads this encounter. However, if Leparoux can pull off a similar trick in the Holy Bull, Spin Wheel is worth a live Exotic play.
(4-1) made it look easy to win the Mucho Macho Man Stakes by four widening lengths in 1:35. However, Antonio Sano’s trainee has to beat his win/loss cycle, and his only victories are as a point guard. He could slow things down in solo speed, but I think second place is more likely if he’s in a rush. There are others here that I like better, including his stable mate. Past.
eloquist (20-1) slowed down in the Remsen and on his 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream. He was at a pace in both starts, ending in a different zip code. Moreover, he only recorded two lukewarm works in the last three months, and his last breeze was a slow gallop. Past.
Cajun Magic (10-1) takes public business after appearing in the Florida Sire series of stakes. Michael Yates’ trainee won the first, Dr Fager by six furlongs, but settled for a distant second in the next two stages. Cajun’s Magic has a sprinter/miler pedigree and conformation, and neither of his half-siblings have made it beyond a mile. Past.
All of the Holy Bull winners have hit the board in their last race and have made between two and four previous starts over the past decade, except Itsmyluckyday, who has made eight.
The pace pressers performed best and the favorite consistently finished in the top three. In the past twelve years, only two horses have won at positions 8 and 9.
Simplification could be lone or hurried speed by Giant Game, White Abarrio, and Cajun’s Magic.
Mo Donegal could follow in the footsteps of Mohayman, who completed the Remsen/Holy Bull double. Also, Pletcher is in his usual head coaching position and Irad Ortiz Jr. wins at 29%. Amazingly, Ortiz is looking for his first Holy Bull victory.
Giant Game should be ready for prime time. Although it has tactical speed, it will be wide all the way. I don’t see Saez gutting Giant Game to win his first race.
White Abarrio will also go deep into the first corner and pick up the pace. However, he might have enough in the tank, and Tyler Gaffalione is certainly capable of bringing home a winner.
Galt is the best bred colt in the race. Unfortunately, he pulled the rail again and will need racing space in the stretch. Maybe Junior Alvarado can get on the rail, but I suspect he’ll be looking for a way out of traffic when they hit the eighth post.
Tiz The Bomb is the mystery horse. Will Brian Hernandez Jr. take him outside to avoid rebounds? Send it to the press Simplification? There’s no questioning the talent, and I may regret leaving him out of my top four.
2. Mo Donegal (3-1)
8. White Abarrio (6-1)
9. Giant game (7-2)
1. Galt (10-1)