Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s 3-year-old colt Leave of Absence worked a sharp half-mile in :48 flat Jan. 20 at Palm Meadows as he prepares for a possible run in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) to be run at Gulfstream Park Jan. 30.
“He worked very well and ran a good race in the Spectacular Bid (rallied for second),” said trainer Rick Violette. “He just confirmed what we thought of him and it’s possible we’ll run him, but we also have Rescind the Trade eligible for the race. He works tomorrow morning. We’ll see how that goes and then make a decision.”
Leave of Absence is a son of Harlan's Holiday purchased for $145,000 at the Fasig-Tipton February 2-year-old sale and made two starts last year, finishing third in his debut at Belmont Park in late September and breaking his maiden at Aqueduct on Nov. 7. He came back to rally from seventh after a half-mile in the six-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes Jan. 8 at Gulfstream to finish second by 1 1/4 lengths.
Rescind the Trade is a Put It Back colt and also ran twice last year, winning his debut in late October at Parx Racing and an ‘a other than’ allowance race going one mile and 70 yards around two turns on the inner track at Aqueduct on Dec. 19.
“He’s already been two turns, so I’m a little reluctant to turn him back to a one-turn race (Holy Bull),” said Violette. “The other option would be to wait and run him in the Sam Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs.”
The Sam Davis will be run at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 12.
Also working for a start in the Holy Bull was Our Sugar Bear Stable’s Gourmet Dinner, who earned the bullet for five furlongs when he was timed in :58 2/5 for trainer Steve Standridge.
A son of Trippi, Gourmet Dinner won the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) in late November and finished a troubled fourth last out in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park on Dec. 18.
Other leading prospects for the Holy Bull include Zayat Stable’s Black N Beauty, Jay Em Ess Stable’s Boys At Tosconova, and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and partners’ Mucho Macho Man. The Holy Bull is the first race in the Preakness 5.5 bonus that could result in a $5.5 million bonus for the winner of the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Also to be run on the Jan. 30 program at Gulfstream is the $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs, and a leading contender for that race breezed Thursday morning at Palm Meadows.
Trainer John Ward had John Oxley’s Dancinginherdreams out for an easy half-mile in :51 3/5. The roan/gray daughter of Tapit won both of her starts last year at Churchill Downs, a five-length maiden score on Oct. 1 and the one-mile Pocahontas Stakes (gr. III) on Oct. 31 by 5 1/4 lengths.