by Jerry Shottenkirk
February 3, 2018
The 3-year-old scene at Gulfstream takes a big leap with the Grade 2 #300,000 Holy Bull Stakes, which is the 12th and final race on the card.
It will mark a rematch of Enticed and Tiz Mischief, the 1-2 finishers in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs.
Kiaran McLaughlin trainee Enticed has won two of three and took the measure of Tiz Mischief by only a head in the 1 1-16th-mile race and has won two of three career starts. He was third behind Firenze Fire in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont.
Racing for Dale Romans, Tiz Mischief was rolling at the end of Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He was winless in two one-turn races but improved when given the opportunity to stretch his legs around two turns. After a sharp maiden win going long at Keeneland, his stock went up even more with the effort against Enticed.
The feeling here is that Tiz Mischief gets his revenge today. He has trained lights out since he first got to Gulfstream and looks ready to improve in his sophomore campaign.
The Holy Bull will decide the late Pick 4, and both horses are included on the suggested Pick 4 ticket. Also included in the Holy Bull are Free Drop Billy and Audible.
Croninthebarbarian’s last performance was so impressive but rolls into this one as an 8-to-1 shot.
It’s called “coming off a vacation.”
He does move up from allowance N3L company to $25,000 optional claiming foes who have won their share of races. The Jan. 25, 2017 win marked his first start for trainer George Weaver.
It’s always a risk to take a horse that’s been off a year-plus, but a look into his past gives one the impression that he has the class to be very competitive in his first one back. You won’t learn anything from his workouts – all were obviously of the maintenance variety and very slow. When it comes time to run this one, the Weaver will have him ready.
For those not in the habit of taking long layoff horses, right next door to him is J.S. Choice, who last appearance on Sept. 2 at Saratoga. He’s lightly raced, but trainer Dale Romans clearly has him on his toes with a string of impressive works. This will be the Korea Racing Authority-owned colt’s first start for Romans. It’s a layoff, but not as much of one.
The Grade 3 Forward Gal is one of two races with four horses used on the suggested Pick 4 ticket. Miss Mo Mentum, which wins in three of her last four, will be very tough for trainer Mark Casse, but this is a tougher group than she’s faced. Still, her form cannot be ignored.
Take Charge Paula, Violent Times and My Miss Lilly all offer stiff competition and each has a legit shot at getting the candy in this seven-furlong race over the main track.
The Grade 3 Dania Beach lured a good group of sophomore males for a mile on the turf, and a pair with the edge are Untamed Domain and Gidu. Untamed Domain, racing for Graham Motion, makes his 1st start the year after a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. His class cannot be disputed, but right next to him is the clearly talented Gidu, who stretches out for the first time. The Todd Pletcher trainee races here December and broke his maiden in easy fashion and in :55 4-5 for five furlongs. As a son of Frankel and an Unbridled’s Song mare, the distance should not be a problem.
Here’s the suggested Pick 4 ticket:
Race 9: #6 J.S. Choice, #7 Croninthebarbarian.
Race 10: #4 Take Charge Paula, #6 Violent Times, #7 Miss Mo Mentum, #8 My Miss Lilly.
Race 11: #6 Untamed Domain, #7 Gidu.
Race 12: #1 Enticed, #2 Free Drop Billy, #4 Audible, #7 Tiz Mischief.
50-cent P4: 6-7 with 4-6-7-8 with 6-7 with 1-2-4-7 ($32).