By Dick Downey
Entries close Thursday for Sunday's one-mile, Grade III Holy Bull Stakes, and at last count, even though the race is worth $400,000, only a handful were considered probable at this posting. Taking a closer look....
Leading the pack in the betting and on the track of course would be Hansen (Looking Good), front-running winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Count on him to set set the pace after breezing the first three furlongs of his most recent workout in :34 and change.
Allowance winner Algorithms (Worth Watching), trained by Todd Pletcher, is high on many lists, and connections say he is good to go albeit in tough competition. It'll be Algorithms' third career start and his third at one turn. He went 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.51 last time out.
Pletcher also hinted to DRF.com there's an outside chance impressive Jan. 7 allowance winner Discreet Dancer (Looking Good) could go in the Holy Bull. Maybe he's waiting to see if Hansen stays in good shape -- or Algorithms. Or both.
Consortium (Worth Watching), from the Kiaran McLaughlin barn, would need to improve, but that's what these races are all about. He ran a length second to Algorithms last time out over the track on Dec. 16. Consortium was the 4-5 favorite that day.
My Adonis looks to make amends after faltering to a ninth-place finish in the Nov. 19 Grade III Delta Jackpot. He'd won a minor prep stake at Delta Downs, leading bettors to make him the 7-2 second choice. This Kelly Breen charge could be an additional pace factor in the Holy Bull after vying with Drill in the Jackpot through opening fractions of :22.11 and :45.41.
Fort Loudon (Worth Watching) swept the Florida Stallion Series for Stanley Gold and raced in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile off a three-week break. He outran his 54-1 odds with a seventh-place finish, but he was beaten nine lengths by Hansen. Fort Loudon was only 3 1/2 lengths off Hansen's lead after six furlongs.