Cairo Prince, winner of the Nashua Stakes and a nosed-out second in the Remsen, is the 3-1 favorite on the Holy Bull morning line. The issue is that he faces a bunch of good horses, including Financial Mogul, second in the Nashua.
“We’ll get his 3-year-old career started on Saturday,” trainer Rick Violette Jr. said. “He’s not ready for the best race of his life, but hopefully this will move him forward and show that he belongs, and keep dancing the bigger dances.”
Financial Mogul romped in the slop at Saratoga in his second start on Aug. 31. After finishing fourth in the six-furlong Futurity at Belmont a month later, the stretch-running youngster made up ground on Cairo Prince in the Nashua, cutting the margin to 2 1/2 lengths at the wire. Trainer Rick Violette, Jr. opted to give the Street Boss colt some time to grow up after that.
“We were very tempted to run him in the Remsen, but then we thought about it and decided that it was late in the year and he’d already run four times,” Violette explained. “I told Seth Klarman that if we’re going to give him a break, that we should do it then, because his break would be short, if any at all, after the Remsen. We took him down to Palm Meadows and gave him about three weeks off. He was in jogging mode for a couple of weeks. He’s fit enough to run without being ready for his best race.”
Financial Mogul has recorded four timed moves at Palm Meadows since the calendar turned, most recently a stamina-building mile drill in 1:43 on Jan. 17.
“I like doing that sometimes,” Violette said. “He went off in a bunch of 13's and he got the last quarter in 24. It was a really good move. The ones that can do it do it well, and the ones that can’t really don’t want to go two turns. His breeze was fabulous.”
Violette acknowledged that while Financial Mogul isn’t fully cranked up for the Holy Bull, he expects to get a gauge on where the colt stands among his peers. He's seen many of them at Palm Meadows.
“(Cairo Prince) is probably the most accomplished, and he looks ready to roll,” Violette said. “He’s trained pretty seriously here. But the rest of them are looking to move to the next level, and confirm what they might have shown in their last couple of 2-year-old races. I don’t think you can eliminate anybody at this stage. A 3-year-old can improve leaps and bounds, and I just hope we’re one of them.”
Edited Gulfstream Park release