by Jerry Shottenkirk
January 30, 2020
The Triple Crown trail heats up in south Florida as the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes gets it rolling at Gulfstream Park.
The Holy Bull is the start of the most lucrative portion of the Gulfstream stakes schedule that culminates with the Grade 1 Florida Derby, and then the winter of that is usually highly regarded for the Kentucky Derby.
Here’s a look at the Holy Bull and the late Pick 4:
1st: Tiz the Law. Makes his first start of 2020 after an impressive 2-year-old campaign, and if he runs close to those races, the Barclay Tagg trainee will be too much of a challenge for these. The Grade 1 Champagne winner was two for two when he suffered his first loss, a third-place finish as the 3-to-5 favorite behind Silver Prospect in the sloppy Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.
He has been a handful on the track in the morning and come forth with a steady and mostly impressive string of workouts.
Jockey Manny Franco is a good fit for this Constitution colt, who has shown some maturity in relaxing just off the pace in his races and has had a decent finish in each. A lively pace should set him up for another good late move.
2nd: Mayberry Deputy. Improvement is the name of the game for young horses, and Mayberry Deputy has done just that. He has just three starts and his debut was not a good one, as he was eighth in a Churchill maiden race. Julien Leparoux picked up the mount from trainer Kenny McPeek for his second start, and he turned it out with a second. On Dec. 19, he broke his maiden over the Gulfstream strip when he cruised by 2 1-2 lengths. He’ll likely be a pace from the outside, and Leparoux has a knack for getting speed horses to relax.
3rd: Ete Indien. The Patrick Biancone-trained Summer Front runner has won two of three, and his only blemish came in the grassy Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland, when never got involved while very wide throughout. In a race since then, he dazzled with a gate-to-wire score in an optional claiming at Gulfstream. Toledo was an even second in that one and returns for this one.
Tiz the Law is the one to beat, mainly due to the pace here, which is expected to be a hot one. If either Mayberry Deputy or Ete Indian are allowed to clear into the backstretch, they would be seriously difficult to catch.
Here’s a suggested play in the late Pick 4, which runs from races 9 through 12. The Holy Bull is the 11th race on the card and third leg in the sequence:
Race 9) #1 Mischevious Alex, #2 Untitled, #4 Green Light Go, #5 Shivaree.
Race 10) #2 South Bend, #3 Homeland, #9 Famished.
Race 11) #3 Tiz the Law, #4 Ete Indien. #7 Mayberry Deputy.
Race 12) #4 Doctor Dub, #9 Appealing Briefs, #10 Fantasizing.
50-cent Pick 4 ticket: 1-2-4-5 with 2-3-9 with 3-4-7 with 4-9-10 ($54)