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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Handicapping: It is all about Hansen in the Holy Bull at GP?

Yesterday at Sam Houston, our top selection, Papaw Bodie won the John B Connolly at a nice $4.60 price.  I was a bit surprised he went off as the favorite, was thinking Proceed Bee would garner most of the attention.  No matter, as I was taught a long time ago, if you can double your money, the odds don’t matter. It’s all about the ROI.

So today we move back to Gulfstream to look at a race that gives us an early preview to some potential Derby contenders.  We will analyze the 25th running of the Holy Bull, Grade 3.  It’s for 3YO going one mile over the dirt for a purse of $400,000.  A field of six has entered so today there will be no dark horses, just the top three and a Bombs Away.  On paper it looks like Hansen will have his way, and should go off at miserly odds.  Is he invincible? No.  We have to remember lightly raced 3YO’s can have setbacks, they are immature and we need to look for upset factor.  So here we go …

Contenders:

#4 Hansen ML 6/5

Everyone knows I’m not a chalk player, but there are times when you have to admit one horse has the edge, and I hate to use the word “lock”.  Hansen is as close as I’ve seen in a while.  I like Michael Maker trained horses, this 3YO has won all three of his efforts and all wire to wire.  His Beyer’s dominate this small field, and if he wins today, it puts him near or at the top of the Derby Futures.   I can go on and on, but it’s there plain and simple.  Who can upset him, the next two possibly.

#2 Consortium ML 3/1

His last effort was a strong one, giving way to the #6 Algorithims.  He is a sprinter going to a route and that is a nice angle.  McLaughlin has a strong record with horses like this and JohnnyV stays aboard.  Toss in first time lasix and you could this 3YO explode with a bit effort.  A lot variable with this one, but if the price holds I would play him as the classic, first time lasix and two sprints to route play.  No matter what he will be an interesting horse to watch going forward.

#6 Algorithms ML 5/2

He will be the second favorite and deserved.  Has won his two first starts and seeing him here is no surprise.  Speed figures show big improvement, workouts strong and beat two good horses in Consortium and Behemoth.  Have to respect any quality thoroughbred trained by Pletcher and this is no exception.  I do agree with the DRF, his price will be of no value against Hansen, so will go with the #2 if the price is square.

Bombs Away:

There are only three to choose from and I’m going with the #5  Fort Loudon ML 18/1.  I’m hanging my hat on the fact he has won four of eight as a 2YO.  He has shown a versatile racing style, has won some big money races over at Calder. He has also shown toughness by getting through some tough situations.  I’m going with experience and a big jockey change with Maragh with this one.  His speed numbers say no way, but again we are dealing with very young 3YO’s.

Selections:

4 – 2 – 6