Kentucky Derby Prep Races Picks, Odds – Holy Bull & Robert B Lewis Stakes
- Three Kentucky Derby Prep races were scheduled for this weekend
- Gulfstream Park’s Holy Bull Stakes offers 20 Run for the Roses qualifying points to the winner
- How should we bet the Holy Bull and Santa Anita’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes?
The first two Kentucky Derby prep races that offer 20 points to the winner were run in the final couple weekends of January. Instant Coffee won the Lecomte Stakes and Arabian Knight took the Southwest Stakes. However, because Arabian Knight is trained by Bob Baffert, he isn’t eligible to earn Derby qualifying points.
This Saturday we were to have three Derby preps. Because of the weather, the Withers Stakes in New York has been postponed. The Robert B Lewis Stakes has horses who may run in Louisville, but all four are trained by Baffert, so as of now none are eligible. The Holy Bull Stakes in Florida features a competitive eight-horse field.
Let’s look carefully at the Holy Bull, and examine the quartet in the Robert B Lewis as we keep an eye on value.
Kentucky Derby Prep Race Picks
|Holy Bull Stakes||Cyclone Mischief||+200|
|Robert B. Lewis Stakes||Newgate||+160|
The Holy Bull, named for the 1994 Florida Derby, Haskell Invitational, and Travers Stakes champion, is slated for 5:43pm EST at Gulfstream Park. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 70s with a 50/50 chance of rain.
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Despite being run on the west coast, the Robert B Lewis will go off at 4 pm EST. Bob Lewis and his wife Beverly owned many top horses including Derby winners Silver Charm and Charismatic. There is virtually no chance of precipitation in LA Saturday, and temperatures are projected to be in the high 60s.
Both races will be run at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the dirt main track and air on CNBC.
Holy Bull Stakes Picks
If Cyclone Mischief (+200) repeats his performance from January 8 against lesser competition, he will be very hard to beat.
The $450,000 son of Into Mischief needed two tries to break his maiden, and in November ran seventh, though less than three lengths behind Instant Coffee in a key late-year juvenile race at Churchill Downs. His first three races do not make him stand out among this group, but the romp at Gulfstream last month was fast and impressive.
Legacy Isle (+350) has finished first in each of his three races, but he was disqualified when drifting out in a stakes race at Gulfstream on January 1. He beat Lord Miles (+400), West Coast Cowboy (+1200), and Il Miracolo (+2000) in that race.
Legacy Isle is a $210,000 son of Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford. He has won two of his three races in gate-to-wire fashion. He has not yet run fast enough to compete with Cyclone Mischief’s last race.[crossposts]
Lord Miles puts blinkers on Saturday. He won going away despite being bumped in his debut in November and was running late to get within a length of Legacy Isle last time out.
Rocket Can (+350) has looked a lot better running around two turns than sprinting. His first two races at seven furlongs were not notable, but he won going a-mile-and-a-sixteenth at Churchill Downs in October, and just missed against winners in November at the same distance in Louisville. He is stepping up, but trainer Bill Mott is excellent off the layoff and Rocket Can should improve in his first race since November. His rider last time out, Luis Saez, elects to ride Legacy Isle here.
Pick: Cyclone Mischief (+200)
Robert B Lewis Stakes Picks
The priciest of the Baffert quartet is Newgate (+160). An $850,000 son of Into Mischief, he just missed last time out in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes.
Newgate has run five times and has one win and two runner-up performances. He has faced top-tier competition. Last time out he was more than 10 lengths clear of Hard to Figure (+800).
Arabian Lion (+140) has been the favorite in each of his three races. The $600,000 son of Triple Crown winner Justify was super impressive debuting with a win at Santa Anita in October. He just missed another excellent performance at Keeneland in November. His stakes and the two-turn debut were lackluster to wrap up 2022. Any improvement on his first two performances would make him very tough on Saturday.
Worcester (+180) is still a maiden. He lost to the highly regarded Faustin in December and ran big finishing second in a really quick six-and-half-furlong heat last month. A $180,000 son of Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, he is stepping up in class and stretching out, but his last performance suggests he is viable.
Pick: Newgate (+160)
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