$250,000 Holy Bull (Grade 3) Feb. 4, 2023
Winner: Rocket Can, by Into Mischief
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
Owner: Frank Fletcher
Distance / time: 1 1/16 miles / 1:44.97 Track: Fast
Win margin: ¾
Wizard’s Track Bias: Stalkers-Outside paths 4 / 5
Wizard’s Pace Analysis: Moderate
Wizard’s Strength of Race: 1 / 5
Wizard’s Holy Bull Reflection:
The winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby will likely not be any of the eight 3-year-olds who ran in this year’s Holy Bull. The fractions were moderate at best, and the final time was not very fast. The well-bred Rocket Can, winner of the Holy Bull as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, clearly is a 2-turn horse with some upside in future stakes races, possibly at the Gr. 2-3 level. Overcoming his outside post, jockey Junior Alvarado had no choice but to position Rocket Can widest down the backstretch in the 4-5 paths. Alvarado made a perfectly timed middle-move to take the lead turning for home and held off the 34-1 shot Shadow Dragon, also trained by Bill Mott, to win by ¾ of a length. Despite the winner’s wide trip, he did benefit from racing on the best part of the track.
Second place finisher Shadow Dragon showed big improvement returning from a layoff. He sustained a strong closing run from last and was clearly second best. There’s upside for this 3-year-old and I would look for him to find a NY bred race going 2-turns at Aqueduct in his next start to be right up his alley.
The favorite Cyclone Mischief was in perfect position racing between horses down the backstretch. He was tipped 4 wide approaching the stretch but had no response whatsoever. It was clearly a regression, which suggests he could benefit from a cut back in distance or a set up where he’s the pacesetter or can sit right off cheap speed.
The rest of the field simply need a class drop to have any chance of earning a top prize.