Legit Derby Contenders Emerge in Holy Bull & Robert B. Lewis – Recap & Scores! – Super Screener
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Legit Derby Contenders Emerge in Holy Bull & Robert B. Lewis – Recap & Scores!

Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Holy Bull (G3)

The wagering public had this race down to Todd Pletcher’s impressive debut winner, Prime Factor (6-5) and the big late turn-of-foot colt out of the Shug McGaughey barn, Greatest Honour (5-2). In the end, it was Greatest Honour’s solid foundation and steady form progression that ruled the day as he just destroyed his competitors, drawing away for a nearly 6-length victory. Here’s how that win translated into a running line:

The pace was hot and pressured and it really played into the favor of Greatest Honour’s decidedly late Energy Distribution Profile. Note, however, that he laid out nearly 100+ BRIS 2nd Call, Late Pace and Speed Rating figures of 100+… that represents an exceptional display of elevated and balanced energy distribution that you want to see in a Kentucky Derby contender at this time of the year. It was another orderly progression in his form cycle and you can be assured Shug will give his charge plenty of rest now to return 60 days later in the Florida Derby which will be run on March 27th this year.

This was an “A” quality effort and it puts Greatest Honour squarely now as one of the top contenders on the Derby trail. Tarantino and Prime Factor were not shamed in defeat and connections of those charges will deservedly continue on the Derby trail as well.

Robert B. Lewis (G3)

When it comes to a horse race, it doesn’t get more exciting than this one did as three competitive rivals were separated by inches at the wire with the Super Screener Top Win pick, Medina Spirit, showing the most stamina and courage at the wire.

Roman Centurian got his nose down just ahead of an equally game Hot Rod Charlie, to complete the Exacta.

While Medina Spirit’s running line coming out of this race wasn’t as impressive as the one Greatest Honour laid down in the Holy Bull, the numbers only tell half the story. This was a visually impressive performance by the Bob Baffert colt. From the disadvantaged 1 post, Cedillo’s hand was kind of forced, and he took his charge to the front establishing, a one-length advantage over his rivals right to the top of the stretch. He was pushed through brutally fast fractions by Wipe the Slate, who was spent in doing so and ended up finishing last, more than 20 lengths behind the winner. Once Medina Spirit put that rival away, here comes the 2nd attack from a very game, Hot Rod Charlie, and the pace-advantaged, Roman Centurian. It was that trio that engaged in a nose-to-nose battle throughout the entire length of the stretch. To be tested multiple times in this race and then to come back and prevail like Medina Spirit did… that is one quality colt that is only going to get better as the distances get longer.

It was more than 11 lengths back to the rest of the field and the top three finishers are all firmly on the Kentucky Derby Trail. And, we may see all three of these horses come back to face one another again in the G1 Santa Anita Derby in early April.

Other Highlights

Forward Gal (G3)

The Super Screener Top Win pick and the odds-on favorite, Zaajel, took care of business as she was in full control of this race, throughout, winning more easily then it looks in the chart.  The Super Screener’s suggested singles for 3rd place in Trifecta wagers, Lady Traveler (8-1) and the Top Long Shot pick, Wholebodemeister (17-1) finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. That outcome triggered both a suggested Exacta and Trifecta to pay out for a total of $226.

Sweetest Chant (G3)

Once again, 3 of the top 4 Super Screener Top Win Contenders hit the Trifecta, with White Frost closing resolutely for the win. This was a Super Screener Top Long shot pick, but she went off at modest odds of 9-2. 

Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about the filly prior to the race:

#5 White Frost (9-2) — Here’s the long shot play in the race. That win in her debut on the lawn was deceptively good.  The BRIS Speed Rating is understated by about 6 points due to that pedestrian middle fraction which means her adjusted BRIS Speed Rating figure should be about 82. With expected improvement off that race that would easily put her in the mix of the top contenders in this race. The other added advantage is that Junior Alvarado will take her off the pace and make that one big run late. Should offer a lot of value given the understated speed figures.

GP R 8 – Three of the Super Screener Top Win Contenders comprised the Trifecta led by #3 Tune In. The suggested Super Screener $ 8 Exacta 2,3,7 with 9,10 returned $256.

GP R 12 – We closed the GP card by getting two of our top win contenders home in Blameless (5-1) and Troubling Moon (9-1) with just a nose separating that pair at the wire. That was good enough to cash in on three of the suggested P4 tickets to hit for a total of $552.

The Kentucky Derby prep action continues to heat up with 3 preps scheduled for this coming weekend including the G3 Withers, G3 Sam F. Davis and the G2 San Vicente (Sunday). In addition, there will be numerous stakes races on each card supporting these Derby prep races.  

Until this coming weekend…Go Fast and Win! 

Mike