Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: Holy Bull Stakes + El Padrino

The G3 Holy Bull Stakes was the first graded prep for Kentucky Derby 2012 contenders in South Florida and Algorithms spoiled juvenile champ Hansen’s much anticipated return.

G3 Holy Bull Stakes (1-29-12): 98 BSF (Algorithms)


Algorithms stays undefeated in Holy Bull - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Algorithms remained undefeated with his first graded score for Todd Pletcher. The promising son of Bernardini is out of Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode. He has yet to try two turns and that has me concerned because serious Derby contenders usually have route races under their belts at this stage.

Hansen always seemed a bit  suspect on stamina based on his pace to late pace ratio, also knows as energy distribution. He stumbled at the start on Sunday but failed to relax on the lead and he paid the price late. It is too early to give up on him but he needs to relax early if he is going to be competitive in upcoming graded Derby route preps.

Consortium never lifted a hoof in a puzzling effort. He may not have cared for wet footing.

Holy Bull Stakes Grade: B-

Earlier on the Gulfstream program, El Padrino captured an allowance route in fast time and stole the thunder from the aforementioned Holy Bull runners.

Gulfstream Allowance Optional Claiming (1-29-12, 7th race): 100 BSF (El Padrino)

Sunday’s 7th race from Gulfstream Park was the most impressive Derby prep I have seen up to this point. Eventual winner El Padrino stalked, pounced, and rolled past pacesetter Take Charge Indy, and it was more than thirteen lengths back to the rest.

{Keep up with the latest Kentucky Derby 2012 trail workouts}

El Padrino has all the tools you want to see in a Derby contender. He has a Kentucky Derby winning trainer (Pletcher) in his corner and a long winded pedigree (Pulpit-Giant’s Causeway). He also owns running style versatility and proved he could break open a race in his sharp maiden win last year. The only knock is that both of his wins were accomplished on wet footing.

Take Charge Indy figured to improve as a sophomore and he got off to a fine start at the Gulf on Sunday.

Casual Trick was a huge disappointment for Nick Zito. The post time favorite stalked the pace after stumbling at the start but faltered badly on the sealed wet track and finished 8th. He may not have cared for the footing.

El Padrino and Take Charge Indy have both been part of my Kentucky Derby Top 10 list since last October.

Gulfstream Allowance/Optional Claiming Grade: A-


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