With West Side Bernie and Beethoven parked outside in posts 10 and 11 going 1 1/8 mile in the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, there is reason to look elsewhere for a winner despite the legitimate talents of each of those horses and their connections.
- By Jim Freer
Gulfstream Park is hoping that a move to a five-day race week will help produce larger fields and attract more live fans and other bettors on days that have proven more popular than its newly-dark Mondays.
Continuing the trend with the season's previous yearling sales, the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall yearling sale ended its three-day run at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Md., Oct. 1 with downturns across the board and an increase in the buy-back rate.
Selling yearlings at the Keeneland September sale got a lot tougher during Friday's session in Lexington, as all major indices fell hard against previous year's figures.
Trainer Warren A. "Jimmy" Croll died the evening of June 6 at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J., after a lengthy illness. The Hall of Famer who resided in Monmouth Beach, N.J., was 88.
Liberty Bull, third behind Denis of Cork and Sierra Sunset in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) last time out, made that race look even better with a sharp two-length victory in the rich $600,000 WinStar Derby at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 16.
Two colts by Holy Bull battled through the stretch at Oaklawn Park Jan. 21, and it was Kenneth Maier's Liberty Bull who earned a neck victory over Alex and Joann Lieblong's Isabull in the $50,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile.
Jockey Raul Rojas suffered two fractured neck vertebrae after his mount, Bully for Us, unseated the rider in Aqueduct's sixth race Nov. 17.
Jockey Raul Rojas was sent to North Shore University Hospital Nov. 17 after his mount, Bully for Us, unseated the rider in Aqueduct's sixth race, a maiden event for New York-bred 2-year-olds.
Kindred Thoroughbreds' Going Ballistic continued his terrific 3-year-old campaign Oct. 21, taking the $300,000 Centennial Oklahoma Derby by 3 1/4 convincing lengths at Remington Park.
Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino announced its 2008 stakes schedule Aug. 24, which is highlighted by the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) and a pair of changes in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III).
Sharon Brown, the dam of 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull, was euthanized July 28 because of complications from the infirmities of old age.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Flashy Bull left the field behind leaving the far turn, then dug deep in the final sixteenth to hold off the fast closing Magna Graduate and Diamond Stripes to win the $829,500 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) in a surprise at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Flashy Bull and heavy favorite Hesanoldsalt staged a furious stretch duel Saturday at Pimlico in the William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III), with Flashy Bull winning the head bob.
Two horses tied for the fastest eighth-mile workout during the second and final training preview in the 2007 Barretts May Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training conducted May 11.
Even money favorite Bwana Bull closed from second to last in the opening quarter mile to capture the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) Saturday at Bay Meadows.
Elizabeth J. Valando's homebred Nobiz Like Shobiz, highly regarded among this year's Triple Crown hopefuls, got his campaign off to a strong start with a smart win as the odds-on choice in Saturday's $150,000 Holy Bull (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Gulstream Park.
Elizabeth Valando's homebred 3-year-old Nobiz Like Shobiz, high among early favorites for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. 1), makes his season debut as the 8-to-5 morning line favorite in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
The stalking Bwana Bull circled the pacesetters coming off the final turn of Sunday's $150,000 California Derby and was long gone at the end under substitute rider David Lopez at Golden Gate Fields.
The 4-year-old Yes It's True filly Truart brought the day's highest bid of $150,000 from John and Martha Jane Mulholland Jan. 12 as young fillies and mares continued to top Keeneland's January horses of all ages sale.
Melnyk Racing Stables' speedy Bishop Court Hill took control of the $110,600 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) coming away from the gate and rolled to a measured one-length victory under John Velazquez on the Aqueduct inner track Sunday.
The 3-year-old stakes schedule will take on a slightly different look in 2007, due mostly to the return of Fair Grounds and several changes to the Gulfstream Park stakes structure, which will again run the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) five weeks before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Giacomo tallied his first victory since capturing the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at odds of 50-1, closing from far back under regular rider Mike Smith to defeat Preachinatthebar by a head in a rousing finish to the $300,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Saturday.
Lael Stable's undefeated 3-year-old Barbaro worked a half-mile in :48 Monday morning at Palm Meadows with regular exercise rider Peter Brett aboard in preparation for his engagement in Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
The undefeated Barbaro showed himself to be one of the most exciting prospects for this year's Triple Crown series Saturday when he handled a sloppy strip to win the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) in his first main track attempt at Gulfstream Park.
This weekend's February feast of 3-year-old races promises to unveil several leading Triple Crown contenders, with a heavy emphasis, as usual, on Todd Pletcher, Bob Baffert, and Nick Zito. The focal points will be the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) and the return of First Samurai in the Hutcheson (gr. II).
Barbaro means "barbarian" in Portugese. When one does something superior, that is called "barbaro" as well. Each usage may well describe Barbaro when all is said and done, and he is our pick to win the grade III Holy Bull Stakes.
If you're looking for that perfect holiday gift for the racing fan on your shopping list, take heart--paintings by famous racehorses will be available for purchase on E-Bay beginning Saturday, Dec. 10.
Mike Pegram's two-time grade II winner Woke Up Dreamin has been retired and arrived at Millennium Farms in Lexington, where he will stand the 2006 breeding season. His initial stud fee will be $7,500 live foal.
Elusive Quality, last year's leading sire by progeny earnings, will stand in 2006 for the same $100,000 fee that he stood for in 2005.
The National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, New York will feature original paintings created by Hall of Fame racehorses at the 50th Anniversary Hall of Fame cocktail reception Aug. 6.
Jerry and Ann Moss' homebred Giacomo, upset winner of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be sidelined for the remainder of the year with a bone chip in his left front ankle, suffered in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Trainer John Shirreffs said the prognosis is excellent, and he is optimistic the colt will return to the races as a 4-year-old.
Mike Smith won a stakes race at Belmont Park Saturday aboard a son of Holy Bull. No, not the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with Giacomo, though he certainly hopes that happens later on the card.
Mike Smith stood by himself in front of the detention barn on the Churchill Downs backstretch. The May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) was still a week and a half away, and the mass influx of media was not due for several days. Smith, who had been riding regularly at Keeneland, gazed out at the track, watching the morning activities.
Horse of the Year in 1994, Holy Bull had one glaring hole in his resume that year, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), in which he struggled over a muddy track to finish an ignominious 12th of 14 behind winner Go for Gin. Saturday, that defeat was avenged when his son Giacomo charged from far off the pace to win the Kentucky Derby by half a length over a dead-game Closing Argument.
Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss' Giacomo breezed seven-furlongs in 1:23.80 over a "fast" track at Hollywood Park.
Stalker Closing Argument registered a game 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Holy Bull (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park, handing 3-5 favorite High Fly his first defeat Saturday.
Live Oak Plantation's High Fly, an impressive winner of his three starts to date, stretches out to two turns for the first time in Saturday's $150,000 Holy Bull (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
Aventura Stakes winner High Fly will take the next step in the Florida Derby series Saturday by racing in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Bill White confirmed that news after the colt's latest workout Sunday morning.
Stronach Stables' lightly raced Saintliness kept her record spotless Saturday at Aqueduct, getting the jump on six rivals and winning the $81,275 Affectionately Handicap for fillies and mares by three-quarters of a length over Miss Fortunate.
Favored Pohave, ridden for the first time by Victor Espinoza, rolled to a three-quarters of a length victory in the $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) Saturday at Hollywood Park for his first grade I triumph.
Urge to Splurge, a Successful Appeal filly, was purchased for $200,000 by Carrol Castille to top the second and final session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2004 June Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age.
Pohave ended an eight-race losing streak at Hollywood Park, winning his first graded stakes in the $150,000 Los Angeles Times Handicap (gr. III) Saturday.
Holy Bubbette made her first trip to Woodbine a winning one, capturing the $136,000 Whimsical Stakes for older fillies and mares on Sunday.
March 12, 1994
Holy Bull on Florida Derby Day
Silver Wagon will hit the trail toward Churchill Downs when he takes the gate against at field of 10 runners in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. The 15th running of the Holy Bull goes as the 10th event on an 11-race card with a first post time of 1 p.m.
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. benefited from the spirit of the season when Stronach Stables' Thunder Blitz, conditioned by Bobby Frankel but stabled at Aqueduct for the inner track season, pulled a mild upset in the $108,300 Queens County Handicap (gr. III) Saturday.
A weanling by More Than Ready and a 3-year-old half-sister to Holy Bull each brought $100,000 to top Tuesday's session of Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale.
Macho Uno, the 2000 champion juvenile colt, has been retired and will stand in 2004 at Frank Stronach's Adena Springs near Ocala, Fla. No stud fee was announced.
Woke Up Dreamin, a 3-year-old colt by Holy Bull owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Bob Baffert, will replace the injured Oopstheregoes as one of the two horses set for Sunday's match race pitting leading Del Mar riders Julie Krone and Patrick Valenzuela.
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