Weekend Review: Holy Bull analysis// Updated future odds// News on Orb, Cerro, Majestic Hussar, Elnaawi, Fury Kapcori, Honorable Dillon, more

Holy Bull S. (G3)
Winner (pts): Itsmyluckyday (10)
2nd, 3rd, 4th (pts): Shanghai Bobby (4), Clearly Now (2), Joshua’s Comprise (1)
Chart: Equibase
Replay: YouTube
CTD Analysis: As is usually the case when a 2-year-old Champion fails to win his 3-year-old debut, the follow-up analysis focuses just as much on the beaten favorite as the surprising winner. In the case of the Holy Bull (G3), winner Itsmyluckyday deserves the lion’s share of attention. It was as close to perfection as you could ask for in a horse race- an excellent ride by jockey Elvis Trujillo, a professional and mature stalking journey from the winner, and an eye-popping final time that broke a track record. His Beyer speed figure of 104 is the highest of his class. The day clearly belonged to Itsmyluckyday and trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., and they deserve to now be in the same serious Kentucky Derby discussions as Violence, Todd Pletcher, Goldencents, Doug O’Neill, D. Wayne Lukas, Flashback, Bob Baffert, and Shanghai Bobby.  The colt apparently came out of the race “110%” and will train for the Florida Derby (G1) March 30.

As the connections and others stated, Shanghai Bobby’s 2nd place finish was admirable considering it was his first race in almost 3 months, he set a solid pace, and he cleared the remainder of the field by over 11 lengths. His 100 Beyer figure was good enough to win anywhere else on the trail. There was some chatter that Shanghai Bobby’s pedigree was to blame for the slow down in the stretch, but I would like to see a change of strategy next time out. Pletcher and Napravnik both stated they wanted to dictate the pace, but Shanghai Bobby won two Grade 1’s without going gate-to-wire.  Perhaps it was due to the #1 post and we will see a change in approach in the Florida Derby (G1).

The Holy Bull was not without complete disappointments. I was expecting much more from Dewey Square, who never got involved in the race.  His connections stressed the fact he took a lot of dirt in the face (and even proved it with a post-race picture), but this is horseracing after all, and if you choose to stay in the middle or back of the pack it’s going to come with flying dirt. We were also treated to a gruesome picture of Frac Daddy’s bleeding hoof, which proved he grabbed a quarter. Kenny McPeek believes the injury cost him the race, and it’s true we probably didn’t see his best race. Kelly Breen blamed Bern Identity’s 5th place result on repeated bumping, but did it cost him all 14 lengths? Despite all of the excuses it’s difficult to hold out hope for any of the Holy Bull horses behind the top two.

Weekend News Summary
The Holy Bull undercard featured some possibly promising sophomores whose trainers have their sights set on the Derby. Shug McGaughey’s Orb defeated a strong group in an allowance, and will be pointed to the Fountain Of Youth (G2) February 23. Graham Motion sent out Cerro in another 1 1/8 mile allowance Saturday, and the colt led at every call of the race. Cerro will start next on the grass in the Palm Beach (G3) at Gulfstream and then probably move to polytrack in the Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway. Who am I to tell a Kentucky Derby winning trainer what to do, but I find it strange Motion is using a grass/synthetic plan considering Cerro’s best performances have come on dirt// Fury Kapcori was ruled out of the upcoming Robert Lewis (G2) with an undisclosed “problem”, according to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. No word on how long he will be on the sidelines// Eddie Kenneally likes Honorable Dillon and thinks the colt will improve in his second start off a layoff. He’s scheduled to race in Saturday’s Hutcheson (G2). The trainer also said Majestic Hussar, who won an impressive allowance contest against Palace Malice last week, is headed to the Fountain of Youth (G2)// Goldencents, currently tied in Derby points with leader Shanghai Bobby, had a sharp six furlong bullet work at Santa Anita Saturday. He’s working steadily towards a start in the San Felipe (G2) March 9, along with new stablemate Mudflats. Doug O’Neill said Mudflats is a little unfocused. The trainer seems to have the same issue with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up He’s Had Enough, who worked Friday and needed quite a bit of urging from rider Mario Guttierez// The Courier-Journal released their annual Kentucky Derby section, and links to the stories and video can be found below// Wynn Las Vegas updated their future odds list right after the Holy Bull. Itsmyluckyday dropped down to 25-1 after his win, while Shanghai Bobby moved from 18-1 to 24-1// more…

Point Standings

Future Odds
Wynn Las Vegas 1/26/13 (Courier Journal)

Pedigree Profile: Itsmyluckyday (Horseracing Nation)
West Region: At a glance (Courier Journal)
East Region: At a glance (Courier Journal)
Midwest Region: At a glance (Courier Journal)

Contender lists
115 3-year-olds to watch (Courier Journal)


Dynamic Sky- PMM- 5F- 1.01:33- B- 8/24
Honorable Dillon- PMM- 5F- 59:88- B- 1/24
Sky Commander- PMM- 5F- 1.03:12- B- 21/24
Integrity- PMM- 4F- 49:89- B- 57/101
Den's Legacy- SA- 4F- 49:60- H- 6/8 (Wet Fast)
Manando- SA- 5F- 59:00- H- 1/14 (Wet Fast)
Super Ninety Nine- SA- 6F- 1.11:60 H- 2/8 (Wet Fast)
Goldencents- SA- 6F- 1.10:20- H- 1/8 (Wet Fast)

Capo Bastone- PMM- 5F- 1.01:90- B- 13/21
Violence- PMM- 4F- 48:09- B- 5/44
Normandy Invasion- PMM- 4F- 49:09- B- 23/44
Overanalyze- PMM- 4F- 47:88- B- 3/44
Verrazano- PMM- 4F- 48:82- B- 14/44
Delhomme- PMM- 4F- 49:49- B- 29/44
Oxbow- OP- 4F- 49:60- B- 2/7