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Early free-for-all in Holy Bull could bring a late surprise

by Jerry Shottenkirk

February 2, 2019

It’s the first Saturday in February, which means it’s three month till the first Saturday in May, which means . . . Ah, you know the rest. This is the time of year when the 3-year-old picture just begins to get really interesting, and those races at Gulfstream Park gets as much attention as big races at other ports of call.

The G2 Holy Bull Stakes is the Hallandale headliner, and the heads that do now generally hang on through the prep season and often end up in the Kentucky Derby. The pretenders are weeded out and today is a start for those with the cred to mix it up.

Maximus Mischief is the even-money favorite and will attempt to keep his unbeaten record in tracks. Through three starts at Parx (twice) and Aqueduct (a win in the G2 Remsen), he’s been behind ONCE at any of the calls. He’s an Into Mischief and from an Songandaprayer mare, Reina Maria, so speed is not a problem. So when he goes longer distances than today’s 1 1-16th miles, he’ll be tested. But won’t they all?

Maximus Mischief, trained by Robert Reid, Jr., will be ridden by Jose Ortiz for the first time, and it’s difficult to find a hotter rider.

While Maximus Mischief clearly has the credentials to wear the favorite’s cap, but there is no shortage of quality opponents. The Holy Bull is loaded with speed, and if it turns into a free-for-all early on, there’s a good chance the local star Garter and Tie benefit the most and unleash an effective late run.

Maximus Mischief will be a single on many tickets, and upset will launch the payoff into orbit. In addition to having Maximus Mischief on the suggested Pick 4 tickets, Garter and Tie, Epic Dreamer and Mihos will be represented.

Here’s the suggested ticket for the late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park:

Race 9) #3 Fashion Faux Pas, #4 Feedback.
Race 10) #4 High Crime, #5 Call Paul, #11 Country Singer.
Race 11) #1 Garter and Tie, #3 Epic Dreamer, #6 Mihos, #8 Maximus Mischief.
Race 12) #1 Honest Mischief, #5 Uncle Jamo, #7 Soldado, #8 Beau Luminarie, #9 Compound It.
50-cent Pick 4: 3-4 with 4-5-11 with 1-3-6-8 with 1-5-7-8-9 ($60).