Saturday January 19, 2002

The 11th Holy Bull Stakes

11th @ Gulfstream

1. O'Rocky...Velasquez C./122...Had the benefit of that golden Calder rail across town. While the rail plays strong here too, I'm inclined to believe the stiffer competition will be his undoing. Pleasa winning graded events at only 9%. He won't steal this with 24:4 and 49:4 splits.

2. Booklet...Coa/122...Other than Saratoga Special, the son of Notebook has done nothing wrong. Coa gave him a breather in the middle of the Fla. Stallion Stakes and he didn't even need to kick it in again. Of course, that field was weaker than this. Much weaker. The change to Ward, but Coa stays. The long rest means he should have grown up a bit and Ward is 24% with 90+ days off. Won at 24% last year, 19% graded stakes, and both with a positve ROI. Is he ready for this?

3. Thiscannonsloaded...Chavez/116...He may be loaded, but he probably shot his wad in the last race, a mid-level allowance here. That was against a very impressive looking Blue Burner though, and he's making his way up the ladder quite nicely. A win here would be asking a bit much.  Probably suited best for his previous level, at least for now.

4. Nokoma...Velasquez J/118...Turning back here will likely be the winning combination. There's no doubt he had to get a lot out of the Remsen when he looked to be all-out to get to the wire while losing ground to finish second. Pulpit's son! I can remember Pulpit. Very impressive on this track and a striking looking colt. As for Nokoma, losing the Remsen to my Derby pick is nothing to be ashamed of--I guess. Critics say time was too slow. I say it was 9 furlongs in their two-year-old year. A tall order for the current state of the breed.

5. Speedy Leon...Velez/116...Harold Rose returns with another likely longshot. Can lightning strike twice??? Appears to have a decent late kick, but I don't know with these. Rose 0-7 as of Thursday afternoon here. Can you ignore that work on Monday?

6. Harlan's Holiday...D'Amico/122...Signaled that he's ready with that Sunday drill. He's got nice credentials. Looked like he's ready for the wars last time in Louisville. His two races over that strip will help him later. His pressing style is welcome here today. McPeek has the toughest job of all. Keeping him together. A strong performance here places him near the top, if not all alone there.

7. Thatsallmon...Day/116...Can a maiden $21K winner last out just stroll in here and take this? Probably not, but Maria's Mon's sons perform well here, so look for improvement.


I love that work by HARLAN'S HOLIDAY while getting ready for this. He looks ready to take up where he left off in November. 

BOOKLET might just cruise here. I'm inclined to believe Ward would be happy with just a good effort here though. We'll get to see how easy his last race really was today.

SPEEDY LEON and NOKOMA to battle for 3rd.

1. Harlan's Holiday

2. Booklet

3. Speedy Leon / Nokoma

Best of luck everyone and enjoy the kick-off on the Derby trail!


2002 bBra