Hutcheson and Holy Bull Selections

As stated in my previous blog post, I am currently on vacation in sunny Florida. Seems as if I picked the perfect time to escape the icy, cold misery back in Lexington.

Though horse racing is not the first thing on my mind as I sit here in shorts and flip-flops by the pool, I do realize that it is a huge weekend at Gulfstream. In fact, I will be there live on Saturday for the fabulous card, which features the Donn, Holy Bull and the much-anticipated debut of Nicanor. I feel it is my duty to at least make a half-hearted attempt to handicap the two major 3-year-old prep races this weekend (also the Hutcheson on Friday), although please forgive me if all this sun interferes with my handicapping abilities.  

Also, because I am nearly out of Coronas, I’m sure you’ll understand that I must get to the beer store and I do not have the time (or desire really) to do my usual breakdown of each horse in the race. Instead, I’ll just hand out my selections with minimal explanation.

And to all those back in Lexington or wherever else it’s freezing, if you think I’m rubbing it in, I am. But just remember, I’ll be back in that same misery in less than a week. Ugh…

Hutcheson, Friday, Jan. 30

Not the best betting race with the biggest price in the seven-horse field being 8-1, but it has turned out to be a good Derby prep. I’ll just make a win bet and use one or two from here in my Pick 3s and 4s.

I can’t make a major case for Bee Cee Cee, Salo Jak or Z Day, and though Capt. Candyman Can must be respected, I don’t like him for top prize.

I narrowed it down to Hello Broadway, Break Water Edison and Rocketing Returns. Break Water Edison defeated Hello Broadway in the Nashua when rallying from the back after a quick, early pace. Hello Broadway did not have the best of trips in that one and I think he turns the tables here. The son of Broken Vow has been working well for Barclay Tagg and could get a nice stalking trip behind Z Day. He looks like the real deal.

Rocketing Returns is also very intriguing based on his impressive allowance win at Calder last month and his 106 Beyer when breaking his maiden two back. Big step up for him, but if he has enough ability he might run by them all.

Unless I see something eye-opening in the paddock, I’ll play Hello Broadway to win and include Rocketing Returns in my Pick 3.

Courtesy of, here is a link to the Ultimate PPs for the race.

Holy Bull, Saturday, Jan. 31

In contrast to the Hutcheson, what a terrific betting race this is, especially with two of the favorites parked on the outside.

Immediately, I’m going to toss Beethoven. He is certainly a good looking horse, but he had the perfect trip in his KJC win and will not have that luxury from post 11 this time. I think he takes a step back.

The 10 post for West Side Bernie also concerns me, but he has been drilling like a monster and I was very impressed by his Delta Jackpot. Don’t like him for top prize, but he is a must use in exotics.

There are plenty of playable longshots in here, including Rockland, Bruce N Autumn and Stately Character, but in the end I settled on Danger to Society.  This well-bred son of Harlan’s Holiday impressed me more than Free Country in that Jan. 8 allowance race at Gulfstream. He showed the ability to rate, stamina and that second gear that all Derby winners have. This will be a big class jump for him, but he’s proven on the track, at the distance and should get a nice, clean trip from post 2 under Albarado. Ken McPeek has been red hot.

I’ll play exactas 2/1,6,7,10 and 1,6,7,10/2.

Courtesy of, here is a link to the Ultimate PPs for the race.

Also, a good opportunity to make some money is in race 8 – Nicanor’s debut. Whenever a horse is hyped like this, you can be sure the betting public will back him. We have seen it many times, most recently with The Green Monkey. Often times, you can find huge overlays by going against them.

I’m hoping that is the case here. It’s a full field of 12 and there should be a big return waiting if Nicanor gets beat. I like (7) Boyhood Dream, who gets lasix for the first time.

If Nicanor wins, that’s great too. I know a lot of people will be pulling for him and I wish everyone luck. Have a great weekend and be sure to let me know who you like.

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