Superstars emerge in Holy Bull, undercard?// Contenders work for Robert Lewis, Withers, Southwest

Normally, a 5-length commanding win over the reigning 2-year-old Champion would catapult a colt like Algorithms into the leading ranks of Kentucky Derby prospects.  While that may be the case in some circles, other circles will cast their doubts.  The Gulfstream Park track for the Holy Bull (G3) Sunday was listed as sealed and sloppy, and played extremely quirky throughout the day, giving way to both dominating wins and dissapointing efforts.  Furthermore, champion Hansen stumbled at the start and hurriedly tried to make up for it by gunning to the lead and running a second quarter in a blistering 22:03.  That scenario set up perfectly for lightly raced Algorithms who fired to the front just after the final turn and extended his separation from Hansen with every stride under little urging.

Regardless of stumbles and track conditions, a few things are clear.  Hansen is not a freak who can overcome adversity and he still has not learned to rate – a tactic that should probably be acquired if his connections wish him to wear the roses in May.  Despite these faults it was his first race in nearly three months and he still held on for 2nd against a decent group of horses. Could more conditioning, a dry track, and a clean break make the difference? We’ll have to wait and see.

As for the winner Algorithms, all signs point up.  An undefeated graded stakes winner in just his third race, he carries the dual threat of favorable pedigree and proper running style for the Classics.  The fact that he’s trained by Kentucky Derby and Belmont winning trainer Todd Pletcher, who not only swept the two graded races on Sunday’s card but also proved to have another Derby threat from an undercard race, will only embolden his backers.  Pletcher stated he’s unsure of where to go next with Algorithms, other than the fact he would like to separate some of his leading contenders, a list that seems to grow by the day.

The show spot in the Holy Bull went to My Adonis, who encountered some bumping at the start yet was able to compose himself and make a late charge. 
El Padrino was the impressive victor in the aforementioned undercard entry-level optional claimer at Gulfstream.  In a perfectly timed move by Javier Castellano, the colt overtook Take Charge Indy deep in the stretch to win by 2-lenghts in a final time of 1:42.68.  The top two finishers were well clear of the remaining field by almost 14 lengths.  It also appeared Calvin Borel may have pushed the button on Take Charge Indy a bit too soon in the backstretch.  Considering it was the colt’s first race since the Breeders’ Cup it was an admirable effort that should set him up well for the next race, presumably the Fountain of Youth (G2).  Favorite Casual Trick showed absolutely nothing when the race turned serious before the stretch.  He was virtually spinning his wheels and ended up last of all except for Gaelico who was pulled up. The winner earned a speedy 100 Beyer Speed figure for the win at 1 1/16 miles, which was higher than the 98 his stablemate received for the Holy Bull win.  Both figures are exceptional for sophomores at this time of year, especially considering recent trends.

Key workouts occurred from East to West and in between Sunday.  At Santa Anita, Rousing Sermon, 2nd in the CashCall Fututity (G1) by a neck last out, put in a serious 4-furlong work.  According to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer the colt is set for Saturday’s Robert Lewis (G2)// Smarty Jones Stakes winner Junebugred breezed a quick 4-furlongs at Oaklawn in preparation for the Southwest (G3).  He’ll face some of the same horses from the Smarty Jones, including 4th place Jake Mo who also worked Sunday// Todd Pletcher’s How Do I Win and Gary Contessa’s Speightscity worked at Belmont for Saturday’s Withers (G3) at Aqueduct.  They’ll go against presumed favorite Alpha whose connections plan to enter in all three New York preps// The Courier-Journal released their annual Kentucky Derby guide, which includes an overview of contenders, rankings, schedules, and coverage of geographical “divisions”.  All linked below…


Holy Bull S. (G3)
Winner: Algorithms
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Replay: YouTube
Beyer: 98

Gulfstream Park Race 7- Allowance Optional Claiming
Winner: El Padrino
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Beyer: 100
Articles: DRF / Brisnet

Other Articles
Courier Journal Kentucky Derby Preview:

Speightscity- BEL- 5F- 1.00:65- B- 4/28
Twelve Hundred- HAW- 5F- 1.01:00- B- 1/8
Worthington- SUN- 4F- 50:80- B- 20/23
Rousing Sermon- SA- 4F- 47:40- H- 5/40
How Do I Win- BEL- 4F- 49:04- B- 29/61
Brown Eyed Jozi- LAD- 5F- 1.03:00- B- 6/6
Junebugred- OP- 4F- 48:40- B- 4/82
Jake Mo- OP- 4F- 51:40- B- 61/82
Thunder Moccasin- PMM- 4F- 48:93- B- 18/39