Mo­hay­men faces five in Holy Bull Stakes

Daily Racing Form Saturday Stakes Preview - - FRONT PAGE - –Mike Welsch – David Gren­ing

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – There were few sur­prises when en­tries were drawn Wed­nes­day for the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulf­stream Park, with Mo­hay­men and Green­pointcru­sader top­ping a field of six 3-year-olds set to go 1 1/16 miles Satur­day in the first of two key prep races lead­ing up to the $1 mil­lion Florida Derby on April 2.

Mo­hay­men, gen­er­ally con­sid­ered the top Ken­tucky Derby prospect sta­bled on the East Coast fol­low­ing im­pres­sive wins in the Grade 2 Nashua and Grade 2 Rem­sen, has wowed trainer Kiaran Mclaugh­lin while work­ing up to the race since ar­riv­ing at Palm Mead­ows this win­ter. Green­pointcru­sader is the lone Grade 1 win­ner in the field, hav­ing dom­i­nated the Cham­pagne Stakes at Bel­mont Park be­fore fin­ish­ing sev­enth as the fa­vorite in the Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile.

Trainer Dale Ro­mans did opt at the last minute to hold Cherry Wine, an im­pres­sive al­lowance win­ner here this month, out of the Holy Bull, in­stead en­ter­ing Per­fect Saint, who was sup­ple­mented to the race. Ro­mans said he will train Cherry Wine up to next month’s Foun­tain of Youth Stakes.

Like the Holy Bull, the Grade 2 Swale and its filly coun­ter­part, the Grade 2 For­ward Gal, will fea­ture qual­ity over quan­tity, with each lur­ing only six en­tries.

The un­de­feated and un­tested Awe­some Ban­ner will top the Swale lineup, which also in­cludes Car­dio Cow­boy, No­hold­ing­back­bear, Ready Dancer, Richie the Bull, and Eco­nomic Model. The For­ward Gal, also sched­uled to be run at seven fur­longs, lost some of its lus­ter with the word that Lucy N Ethel, the win­ner of the Grade 3 Old Hat, would not run. The field con­sists of Cathryn Sophia, Is­land Saint, Bal­let Diva, Con­quest Babayaga, Disco Rose, and a late sup­ple- ment, Dance Kiddo.

Ra­mon Pre­ci­ado, who trains Lucy N Ethel but is serv­ing a sus­pen­sion for a med­i­ca­tion vi­o­la­tion in Delaware, said Lucy N Ethel sus­tained a small chip in her an­kle com­ing out of the Old Hat that re­quired surgery. She’ll be side­lined for 90 days.

“It wasn’t any­thing big, but she’s a nice filly, and we want to do the right thing by her, so she had the surgery, and if all goes well, we can have her back in train­ing again in 90 days,” said Pre­ci­ado.

Aqueduct: With­ers Stakes

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – More so than most train­ers with a 3-year-old at this time of year, Ja­son Servis has rea­son to be think­ing about the Ken­tucky Derby. But Servis has dif­fer­ent goals when con­sid­er­ing where and when to run his New Jersey-bred geld­ing Sunny Ridge.

“I like money, too,” Servis said. “The Derby’s the Derby. Sure, it’d be great, but we’re not des­per­ate for it.”

Per­haps Sunny Ridge will give Servis more rea­son to be en­thu­si­as­tic about the Derby af­ter he makes his 3-year-old de­but in Satur­day’s Grade 3, $250,000 With­ers Stakes at Aqueduct. The With­ers, run at 1 1/16 miles, is the se­cond of four races for 3-year-olds on this cir­cuit that of­fer qual­i­fy­ing points to the May 7 Ken­tucky Derby.

Sunny Ridge has al­ready ac­crued eight points by virtue of run­ner-up fin­ishes in the Grade 1 Cham­pagne at Bel­mont Park and the Grade 3 Delta Jack­pot. Sunny Ridge won the Sapling Stakes at Monmouth, a race that does not of­fer points. Still, the geld­ing by Holy Bull has ac­com­plished a lot for a horse who de­buted for maiden $40,000 claim­ing on June 21.

“We al­ways thought he was a nice horse,” Servis said. “Did I sweat out run­ning him for $40,000? He’s a Jersey-bred geld­ing. Do you lose him first time out? Prob­a­bly not.”

Sunny Ridge won by a neck that day. He was 61-1 in the Grade 3 San­ford at Saratoga, and though he fin­ished sev­enth, he was beaten only 3 3/4 lengths. He won the Sapling af­ter that be­fore fin­ish­ing se­cond to Green­pointcru­sader in the Cham­pagne and se­cond, beaten a neck by Ex­ag­ger­a­tor, in the Delta Jack­pot.

In the San­ford, he ap­peared to not be han­dling the track in the early stages, as he dropped back nearly nine lengths off the pace. It wasn’t un­til the stretch that he set­tled in and came with a run.

Sunny Ridge has been train­ing steadily at Bel­mont Park, and though he doesn’t show many work­outs, he has put in sev­eral strong gal­lops over the train­ing track. Sunny Ridge drew post 7 and will be rid­den by Manny Franco in the With­ers. He likely will be the se­cond choice be­hind Flex­i­bil­ity, the Jerome Stakes win­ner, who drew post 2.

Also en­tered were Done­gal Moon, Cards of Stone, King Kranz, Vor­tic­ity, and Ad­ven­tist.

There will be 10 races on Satur­day, and first post will be 12:50 p.m. East­ern. The With­ers is carded as the fourth at 1:50 p.m.

Also on Satur­day is the Grade 3, $150,000 To­bog­gan Stakes, which drew a 10-horse field topped by Dads Caps and Green Gratto, the one-two fin­ish­ers from last April’s Grade 1 Carter Hand­i­cap.

The To­bog­gan, which will go as Race 9, was twice can­celed due to bad weather.

Green Gratto will break from post 10, while Dads Caps drew post 4. Sas­si­caia, who was not en­tered the pre­vi­ous two times the race was sched­uled, is the new­comer to the field.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.