G3 Holy Bull Stakes (02/05/22)

Gulfstream Park - Race 11

Dirt - 8.5 Furlongs


#1 Galt 15/1

His sister, Songbird, needs no introduction so there's some presumed expectations for the $400k purchase. Didn't show much until moving to two turns on the main track with a 58/68 REV victory at today's distance. A handful of today's rivals have run 74 Finals at the same trip. At 8.5 furlongs, one point represents a little over 2 lengths (2.125 to be exact) so we'll need solid double-digit odds to back the double-digit length improvement we're asking. It was encouraging to see a young runner stalk, pounce, and pass out of an inside post.

#2 Mo Donegal 5/2

Showed professionalism by opening career with a 66h/66 COMP and was a next out winner as the Compression Line (COMP) indicates inexperienced horses that can distribute energy over the entirety of a race resulting in dramatically improved second career outs. Triggered his Reversal (REV) in last start winning the Grade II Remsen at Aqueduct with a massive late-running dirt spread (4F minus Final) of -16. This would leave him tough to hold off with momentum in the lane and the front going backwards late. Rates a contender but running style makes him tough to trust as a key. Interesting to ship down to Florida with Aqueduct also hosting a Ky Derby prep today.

#3 Eloquist 20/1

Running lines are littered with positive form cycle patterns, something Value Plays Menu is liking. However, we're able to assess how those were triggered. While COMP debuts are great, do they really mean much is the combination that produced it is slow early and slow late? Furthermore, when you're slow early, it becomes easy and less meaningful to pop a New Pace Top for conditioning purposes unless it's significant. The 66/64 NPT from last was earned first time blinkers so he's in a good spot today 2nd time blinkers to take a significant step forward but it still may not be enough against these. Both half-siblings are lifetime cheap claimers.

#4 Simplification 4/1

The foundation is a bit inconsistent but certainly show top talent. First try on main track was a compressed 75h/73h DTOP that resulted in a regression (as predicted by many DTOPs) but healed back up and reeled off a gate-to-wire 75/74 going longer in last. He'll get the inside position on today's rivals that have matched his 4F speed to date but lacks experience passing rivals if he doesn't get a forward spot. Rates a certain threat if he can clear early but the vulnerability of any other scenario says don't settle too short on odds.

#5 Cajun's Magic 8/1

Moved forward quick through first 3 starts as a juvenile prompting a combo of DTOPs that inevitably produced an excusable regression. Got back on track when shown the softer pace scenario of going two turns. No fractional data from Gulf's timing system that day unfortunately but the 73h Final Figure rated competitive with what today's rivals have also done in that spot. Could be any horse here off a long layoff but there is an assumed move forward when aging juvenile to sophomore. 2 fast workouts preceding a slower maintenance work is always good to see on a well laid off runner. The main knock on his Road to the Derby would be his distance-challenged pedigree.

#6 Tiz The Bomb 6/1

Has been tearing it up on the grass triggering the PLOW second time on that surface, a nice indicator of runners that have quickly learned how to ration energy for a push of late acceleration in the stretch. Took a step forward off that PLOW to an impressive 68/79 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Class is certainly there but will face a different game when it comes to race flow today on the main track. He'll need to adjust to the dynamics of the main track which features a more stressful starting flow than his foundation holds. Previous dirt victory at 70h/72 REV came galloping easy against a field that didn't want the surface and initial dirt try triggered a NEG. Passes the class test but there's some risk of surface shock here.

#7 Spin Wheel 20/1

Been a sustainer type debuting a turf spread of +19. Switched to dirt with a REV at -7 into a -9 DTOP maiden-breaker. (Turf spread is Final minus 4F; while Dirt spread is 4F minus Final). DTOPs often signal next out regression, but lightly-raced runners are more eligible to break through them as they haven't yet set a ceiling. Needs a set-up and trip here while also going with several rivals hinging on the same late-running plans so large odds needed.

#8 White Abarrio 6/1

Nice speed on debut at 81/73 NEG. The NEG pattern generally signals runners that will succumb next out to COMP runners. However, runner was well clear at the wire and may have had more to give if it was needed which could have set him up with a COMP instead. Good look to be settled enough to sit on a 60 4F Figure next out to accept the SOFT win, a pattern which indicates a runner likely had more in the tank but didn't need it. Looks to move forward again off a 65h/74 that came up short against a pair of respected Derby candidates. An 18-day gap in works to let a fever pass isn't ideal leading in but does enter feeling better off a tightening bullet work.

#9 Giant Game 7/2

Foundation includes the best debut set of figures at 75/72h COMP propelling him to a 62/70 SOFT maiden-breaker 2nd out. Showed grit spurring a compressed 74/73 in the BC Juvenile behind well-respected rivals. There isn't an overload of speed in this field so he may be in a favorable spot drawn all the way outside where he's eligible to drop into a nice tracking spot before the first turn. Appears to be the logical top contender for me as he can be competitive across many race flow scenarios here owning 4F Figures to keep up with the speed but also complimented with the compression to stay on late.

@Predicteform's Wagers

#9 Giant Game to WIN at 3/1 or better

Exacta Play to runaway speed: 4,5,8 with 9

Trifecta Play to finishers: 9 with 2,6,7,8 with 1,2,3,5,6,7,8


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