2023 Holy Bull Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content

By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)

1. LORD MILES (4-1) – A convincing debut winner over six, he took a step forward in the one-mile Mucho Macho Man S. though ultimately ran out of real estate when faced with a five-length deficit in the final furlong; a son of Curlin, he should appreciate the stretch out to two turns; the downside is that neither race was particularly fast, the Mucho Macho Man especially being one of the slower renewals on the clock; might not see another sprint-like pace here either.

2. WEST COAST COWBOY (12-1) – Gutted out a debut win in the slop going a mile back in September, but was outpaced two months later when facing returning rival Legacy Isle; it’s been another two-plus month layoff for the Joseph trainee, who needs to take it up a notch against that rival plus several others that have run faster to this point.

3. SHADOW DRAGON (15-1) – Mott coming in hot off an upset win in last week’s Pegasus World Cup (G1), but this colt is the lesser on paper of the barn’s two entrants; miraculously made up a 14-length deficit to win his debut in a photo, but that was against New York-breds; his follow-up, in a state-bred stakes won by eventual open stakes-placed Arctic Arrogance, was rather discouraging; connections apparently think there is more here than meets the eye, but taking a wait-and-see approach.

4. CYCLONE MISCHIEF (2-1) – Couldn’t fend off dual Derby prep winner Instant Coffee in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) two back, but took a step forward in his local debut, winning a one-mile allowance for fun and posting a strong 99 Brisnet speed rating; a proven winner around two turns, he looms the one to beat here if he can avoid any severe regression off the career best.

5. MR BOB (10-1) – Maiden claiming grad was stakes-placed in the 6 1/2-furlong Ed Brown at Churchill Downs two back, though that race wasn’t an especially deep cast; a troubled start compromised his chances in the Mucho Macho Man, and he’s proven more effective rating much closer to the leaders; we might see more from him early with blinkers added and a more ideal beginning, though class concerns remain.

6. LEGACY ISLE (7-2) – Has crossed the wire first in all three outings, though demoted to second for drifting late in the Mucho Macho Man; as noted above, it was not one of the stellar renewals of the race from a time perspective, and now the son of Shackleford must stretch his speed a bit farther here while facing a couple rivals with winning experience routing; needs to quicken.

7. IL MIRACOLO (20-1) – Although Remsen (G2) run probably not indicative of his true merit around two turns, he’s been no match for Legacy Isle in either of their prior meetings; the one victory was achieved in wire-to-wire fashion, and perhaps the returning Reyes will be more aggressive with him as he was in that Nov. 12 maiden; overall, others look more appealing.

8. ROCKET CAN (7-2) – After two nondescript outings sprinting at Saratoga, he made noticeable progress back in Kentucky when stretched out around two turns; close second in an allowance last time is one of the stronger efforts turned in by a member of the field, though the winning Confidence Game subsequently finished a well-beaten third in the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds; the stronger of the two Motts and a likely contender given the relative modesty of opposition.