There’s a lot to talk about after the 2014 Holy Bull. There’s always just one true winner but the other story lines behind entries that scored some points versus those that did not still remain. While I would love to dive into the respectable finish of Conquest Titan and Intense Holiday along with the questions surrounding Wicked Strong and Coup De Grace, I can’t resist the opportunity to talk more about Cairo Prince.
With a win today and 10 points added to the 4 that he earned when he finished a nose behind Honor Code in the G2 Remsen Stakes, Cairo Prince is now tied for the points lead with 14. So, going into February and final 3 months of the Derby Prep season this contender has earned the attention I’m about to give him.
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Todd Pletcher Scores His First Ever Holy Bull Win
The Derby Trail is littered with challenges and today Hansen faced his first. Coming in as the undefeated 2-yr-old champion, Hansen entered the starting gate as the overwhelming 4-5 favorite. But as it is on the road to the derby, there are no safe bets.
The headline coming in was Hansen’s 3-yr-old debut but right behind it was his running style – Front Runner. Until today it hadn’t been touched regardless of the distance in each of his first three races. But in the Holy Bull his pace was just too hot and Algorithms was there to reap the benefits. After creeping up on the pace setter little by little the race was already in hand by the time they reached the eighth pole. Once Alogrithms passed is when he put Hansen away and soared home for the convincing win.
G3 Holy Bull Stakes | Purse $400,000 | 1 Mile | Dirt | 1:36.17 – Track Sloppy
- Algorithms $7.00 $2.80 $2.40
- Hansen $2.40 $2.10
- My Adonis $4.00
$2 Exacta $16.20 $1 Trifecta 50.70 $1 Superfecta $158.50
- Also Ran (in order of finish) Fort Loudon, Silver Max, Consortium – Equibase Chart
So the Holy Bull results are in the books but the derby trail is anything but. Let’s begin with our winner. (more…)
The Morning Line: Holy Bull Stakes
The Derby trail will be turned up a notch in the Holy Bull stakes as our reigning 2-yr-old champion Hansen begins his march towards the 138th Kentucky Derby. After capping off a sensational sophomore year by winning the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Hansen looks poised to hold form and his top contender status in the field of 2012 Kentucky Derby hopefuls.
In this competitive field of 6 all eyes will be on Hansen but before we get there, let’s take a look at his profile so far.
Son of Tapit, out of the Sir Cat mare Stormy Sunday and trained by Mike Maker, Hansen is a beautiful gray / roan colt who challenges his contenders from the front of the pack. His racing career began in September 2011 at Turfway Park when he dominated in back to back wins by a combined margin of over 25 lengths. His 5 ½ F MSW debut ended with a bang after he turned in a 12 ¼ length victory and final time of 1:05.12. Maker returned him 15 days later in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile and it was like watching replay. Breaking right to the front once again, Hansen put the field away in the 1 1/16 mile race by over 13 lengths and a final time of 1:45.82. Pretty Impressive.
As it is in sports and horse racing especially, you have to win against the best before you’re given too much credit. Entering the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile starting gate at 7-1 Hansen was definitely a contender in the eyes of the betting public. But the doubts looming over his transfer to dirt, his front running style and the competition he had romped all over were not enough to make him the favorite. So the stage was set for Hansen to prove his talent and that’s exactly what he did. (more…)