Holy Bull, Lecomte probables// Gulfport ruled out// Archwarrior saga continues

Probable 2-year-old Champion Shanghai Bobby will likely face a small field in his 2013 debut in the Holy Bull January 26 at Gulfstream.  Allowance winner Tulira Castle was added to the probable mix and posted a long six furlong breeze at Gulfstream today. Another allowance winner Bradester and Gulfstream Park Derby winner Itsmyluckyday have also been mentioned as possible for the Holy Bull//  By Bob Fortus’ count, there are 10 sophomores pointing for the Lecomte Stakes (G3) at the Fair Grounds January 19, which is the next prep to offer Derby points.  Sugar Bowl stakes winner Tour Guide, recent allowance winner Malibu High, and Display stakes winner Avie’s Quality head the probable list.  Others include Golden Soul, Fear the Kitten, Mylute, Oxbow, I’ve Struck a Nerve, General Election, and Hawaakom// The mystery has been solved over the status of Gulfport, an impressive Churchill Downs allowance winner, who missed a scheduled start in the Jerome Stakes (G2).  He unfortunately sustained a cracked cannon bone when working out in late December and is officially off the trail.  It’s a definite blow for the connections and trainer Dale Romans, who held high hopes for the well-bred son of Unbridled’s Song// Just when I thought we had somewhat definitive news on Archwarrior- that he is taking a break in Kentucky and under a tight timeframe to make the Derby- the still questionably official Twitter account IamArchwarrior reiterated he will definitely miss the Run for the Roses and hope for the Belmont.  Until I read an actual article, I’ll still withhold from taking him off the contender list// J.J. Hysell notes turf runner Brown Almighty has posted two bullet works on the Oaklawn dirt in preparation for Smarty Jones Stakes January 21.  There seems to be quite a bit of buzz for his upcoming debut on dirt// Steve Haskin argues we should always “expect the unexpected” when it comes to the Derby and points to Giacomo, Mine That Bird, and Smarty Jones as all having serious question marks before winning the Derby// more…


Malibu High- LD- 7F- 1.29:60- H- 1/1
Hear the Ghost- HOL- 6F- 1.12:60- H- 2/8
Tulira Castle- GP- 6F- 1.13:20- B- 1/2