Holy Bull Odds and Pick Recommendations: Handicapping Saturday’s Showcase at Gulfstream Park

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The $250,000 Holy Bull Stakes shines a light on the Florida circuit’s role in the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Eight horses are entered in the 1 1/16-mile showcase from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Post time is approximately 5:43 p.m. ET with betting access available via FanDuel TV, simulcast options, or at the track.

2023 Holy Bull Field: Post Positions, Odds, Jockeys, Trainers

Here are morning-line odds for the eight-horse field.

PPHorseML OddsJockey Trainer
1Lord Miles5-2Irad Ortiz, Jr.Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.
2West Coast Cowboy12-1Edgard J. ZayasSaffie A. Joseph, Jr.
3Shadow Dragon15-1Jose L. OrtizWilliam I. Mott
4Cyclone Mischief3-1Tyler GaffalioneDale L. Romans
5Mr Bob8-1Joel RosarioRobert N. Falcone, Jr.
6Legacy Isle7-2Luis SaezRohan Crichton
7Il Miracolo15-1Leonel ReyesAntonio Sano
8Rocket Can6-1Junior AlvaradoWilliam I. Mott

Holy Bull History and Road to Kentucky Derby Series

The race has two threads to the Kentucky Derby.

First, it awards 20 points to the winner in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series,  a package of winter and spring qualifying events that determine the Derby field for May 6.

Second, it determines contenders for a mammoth Derby qualifier, the 100-point and $1 million Florida Derby on April 1.

Holy Bull Odds and Pick Recommendations: Handicapping Saturday's Showcase at Gulfstream Park
Check out our Holy Bull odds and pick recommendations: Handicapping Saturday’s showcase at Gulfstream Park. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

White Abarrio captured the Holy Bull and later the Florida Derby last year. Although he later ran a disappointing 16th in the Kentucky Derby, he was one of the leading contenders.

Tiz the Law parlayed a Holy Bull triumph into a 2020 Florida Derby victory.

Audible earned the Holy Bull and the Florida Derby titles in 2018.

Barbaro won the Holy Bull and the Kentucky Derby in 2006.

Breaking Down the Holy Bull Field

Here’s a look at the field, from the rail out. Odds will be official at post time, per pari-mutuel rules.

1. Lord Miles

Comes off a credible third in the Mucho Macho Man. Was flying at the end of it. Just missed catching Legacy Isle, who he will face again. Will rally. Should be in it again. Lord Miles now needs to go an extra 1/16 of a mile for the first time.

2. West Coast Cowboy

Could not win at allowance company coming into this. Task looks too tall.

3. Shadow Dragon

Was sixth at the Sleepy Hollow Stakes. Nothing off of that suggests a win in this group.

4. Cyclone Mischief

Won impressively in $86,000 allowance race in January. Earned a Beyers speed figure of 90, highest in this race. 

Pulled away definitively in the stretch and prevailed with authority. Will gain significant betting attention off of that race, rightly so.

Has a win at this distance and at this track. Formidable.

5. Mr. Bob

A distant sixth in the Mucho Macho Man. Nowhere near Legacy Isle and Lord Miles. Compromised by awkward start that made him last out of the game. With a better break, could reach the top half and perhaps hit the board.

6. Legacy Isle

Tough-luck disqualification in the Mucho Macho Man for interference in the stretch. He won but was placed second. Should be on the lead again and, with some rating, could conserve some kick for the stretch. Can he go two turns for the first time?

7. Il Miracolo

Buried in the Remsen at Aqueduct, finishing sixth. Was then seventh in the Mucho Macho Man. Can’t make a case for him.

8. Rocket Can

Took three tries to break his maiden and then was second in allowance company. Merits respect off of a second-place finish in an allowance race at Churchill Downs in November. Had the lead in the stretch but couldn’t hold it.

Will need some improvement to beat these.

Holy Bull Betting Overview & Pick Recommendation

Hard to separate Legacy Isle, Lord Miles, and Cyclone Mischief. The three of them, along with Rocket Can, are my Fab Four (1-4-6-8). I will take a 50-cent trifecta box for $12 with them and see how the board looks on Saturday.

I will take an additional $1 tri box 1-4-6, betting against Rocket Can to ship. Small win bet on Legacy Isle with the jockey change to second-leading rider Luis Saez.

What’s your angle? Good luck.

Also read: Withers odds and pick recommendations



Get your first single-horse win wager up to $200 back if it loses. Click here to bet on the Holy Bull.

About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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