Holy Bull RECAP: Best Derby Trail Performance Yet – Super Screener
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Holy Bull RECAP: Best Derby Trail Performance Yet

Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Holy Bull (G3)

What a performance Tiz the Law put on in this race. While it is true he enjoyed the perfect trip, sitting in the pocket stalking the fast and pressured pace, he fully exploited that set up and earned his way back into top Kentucky Derby contender consideration.

(The Holy Bull) marks the long-awaited return of Tiz the Law, who was completely bottled up behind a wall of horses for more than a furlong in his last race and had trouble finding a seam for the first half of the stretch run. By the time he broke through, it was too late as Silver Prospector had all the momentum at that point. Prior to that he was idling behind horses in the G1 Champaign before breaking through and showing a good turn of foot to burst away for the draw-away win. Posted a razor sharp work last out. Needs a clean trip for his best and he has to change leads as they hit the stretch in order to hit his best stride. Appears to be all systems go.

This was by far the single best performance put on by a 3 year-old to date.  Check out what the BRIS Pace/Speed ratings came back as:

1st Call: 98; 2nd Call: 106; BRIS Late Pace: 105; BRIS Speed Rating: 108

If these numbers hold after further review, this would be one of the best running lines I have seen for a horse this early in the Kentucky Derby prep season. Let’s see if Tiz the Law can come back to anything close to these numbers in his final preps.  Just hoping it is not a case of too much, too soon.

Ete Indien proved that his last big effort was not a fluke, running impressively here and doing all the work up front while dueling throughout with Relentless Dancer. He continued on with tenacity, clearing the rest of the field by over 11 lengths.

Withers (G3)

Doesn’t get much better than that as the Super Screener nails the cold Exacta in the Withers Stakes! The pace was highly pressured, as anticipated, and that opened the door for the Top Win and Top Value selection, Max Player, to blow on by a stubborn Shotski to win at great odds of 5-1 putting him firmly in the Kentucky Derby trail mix.

Very interested to see how our Top Value player, #3 Max Player performs here. This closer could not secure a better pace set up given the projected fast and pressured pace with most of the field battling for supremacy within two lengths of one another throughout the early stages of the race. Another advantage includes the fact that many of those pressers will be trying two turns for the first time so #3 Max Player will be passing a lot of pace-weary rivals down the lane.

Given the anticipated pressured pace, those strong BRIS Late Pace figures posted by Max Player in his first two career races made him an immediate contender here. Add a continued progression in his form cycle and the move to the barn’s go-to jock, Dylan Davis, and those were some of the ingredients in the recipe for success. Finally, Irish Cork, who finished second behind Max Player last out, crushed a large field next out while posting a bigger number. 

Take nothing away from Shotski, who did all the work dueling throughout but held on gamely for 2nd place, holding off the late-closing Portos.  Monday Morning Qb broke very slow and was soon distanced by the field. However, he recovered well enough to get up for 4th. Not sure if he would have performed much better with a clean break as that would have put him in the pressured pace mix.

The suggested Exacta wager in this race boxing our two “A” horses returned $444.

Robert B. Lewis (G3)

High Velocity struck to the front at the start but was quickly joined by Tizamagician, and that pair dueled for 6 furlongs setting it up well for High Velocity’s stablemate and odds-on favorite, Thousand Oaks, to launch his bid as they turned for home. Thousand Oaks worked down the stretch, finally getting past his stubborn stablemate in the final yards and holding off the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, Royal Act, who ran a very credible effort here in his first race on dirt.

Here’s what the Super Screener said about both horses before the race:

Just 5 others will take on Bob Baffert’s #2 Thousand Words, including his stablemate, #5 High Velocity, who finished a distant 3rd to his barn mate in that last race on the good and sealed surface while trying 2 turns for the first time in the G2 Los Alamitos Futurity. Looks like your pace leader here. #2 Thousand Oaks was very impressive while hounding this stablemate, #5 High Velocity, in that Los Alamitos Futurity. Scary thing for his other foes in this race is that he projects to move forward off that stellar effort. Blinkers come on and he already has a win over this deep surface which is a significant plus. Won’t try to beat this odds-on favorite.

#4 Royal Act is an interesting player from the Peter Eurton barn that, like Encoder, will be trying dirt for the first time and the barn is 26% in the win column on that move. Got the perfect trip last out on the lawn after the layoff sitting off hot fractions but closing rather anemically. Will move forward 2nd off the layoff and works are long and strong. Does have 2-turn route experience. In addition, blinkers come on. Useful long shot player in this compact field of 6.

San Pasqual (G2)

The day ended well for the Super Screener as the Top Win pick in this race, Midcourt, returned to that top form and made easy work of this field, opening up on his rivals early and never looking back in a very eye-catching victory.

To our surprise, the public let our 4th ranked horse, Two Thirty Five, go off at crazy good odds of 22-1 and he ran like a good one finishing 2nd and completing a suggested Super Screener Exacta wager for a return of $348.

Roadster did nothing in this race and will probably go to the sidelines once again for Baffert as they try to solve the mystery of this horse’s inability to move forward.

This coming Saturday the spotlight moves to Tampa Bay Downs as the Kentucky Derby trail takes us to the Sam F. Davis Stakes. That headliner will be surrounded by other top stakes races and will make up the core of this week’s Super Screener line up.

Until this coming weekend, Go Fast and Win!
Mike

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