Gulfstream Race 11 (Post time: 5:13 p.m. Eastern)
The Grade II, $350,000 Holy Bull Stakes
1 1/16th-miles on dirt
#6 MIHOS (5-2) was last seen winning the Mucho Macho Man Stakes over this course on Jan. 5. He got a strong pace to close into under Jose Ortiz and took advantage. The Mucho Macho Man was MIHOS’ first route race, so he is living up to his pedigree so far (by Cairo Prince out of a Lion Heart mare). His only loss in his first three starts was to Vekoma, another exciting Derby prospect, in his career debut.
MIHOS loses Ortiz to #8 MAXIMUS MISCHIEF (more on him later) but picks up Hall-of-Famer John Velazquez, who gave up the mount on FEDERAL CASE. MAXIMUS MISCHIEF appears to have plenty of pace rivals in the form of #9 GLADIATOR KING and #10 GOING FOR GOLD, so expect another fast tempo and an off-the-pace score for MIHOS in the Holy Bull.
#2 FEDERAL CASE (6-1) is Todd Pletcher’s lone charge in the Holy Bull. He cost $650k at auction and has begun his career a perfect 2-for-2. FEDERAL CASE’s most recent victory came over this course, albeit it was against only three over rivals. He continues to train exceptionally and lured Javier Castellano, who won last week’s Pegasus World Cup with City of Light. There is plenty of room for improvement for the son of Gemologist too.
#1 GARTER AND TIE (12-1) is among the most experienced runners in the field with seven starts under his belt. He was last seen checking in third in the Mucho Macho Man, 2 1/2-lengths behind MIHOS. GARTER AND TIE was a stakes winner over this course two-back, but he appears to have peaked speed figure-wise while his peers are poised to improve. He is best used underneath in exotic wagers. Tyler Gaffalione maintains the assignment.
#8 MAXIMUS MISCHIEF (even-money, morning-line favorite) makes his first start since an authoritative victory in Aqueduct’s Remsen Stakes on Dec. 1. He’s a perfect 3-for-3 lifetime and has never been headed in any of those starts. It’s safe to assume that new rider Jose Ortiz will continue to utilize MAXIMUS MISCHIEF’s fleet early foot, but he may have to pay dearly for the front end in the Holy Bull. The works over this course are solid, but he should be considered a ‘play-against’ at a short price based on the pace scenario.
The play: $5 exacta 6/2, $2 exacta 6/1, $3 win 2 ($10)