Holy Bull Stakes: Legacy Island Has Finished First in All Three of His Starts

Written by: Brian Zipse
Updated February 1, 2023
8 min read

Holy Bull Stakes Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park!










I Ortiz Jr

S Joseph Jr





E Zayas

S Joseph Jr





J Ortiz

W Mott





T Gaffalione

D Romans





J Rosario

R Falcone Jr





L Saez

R Crichton





L Reyes

A Sano





J Alvarado

W Mott

*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Holy Bull Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$1 Superfecta Part Wheel - Cyclone Mischief over Lord Miles, Legacy Isle, Rocket Can and Mr Bob = $24

$2 Trifecta Part Wheel - Cyclone Mischief and Lord Miles over Cyclone Mischief, Lord Miles and Legacy Isle over Cyclone Mischief, Lord Miles, Legacy Isle and Rocket Can = $16

$10 Exacta Box - Cyclone Mischief and Lord Miles = $20

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Cyclone Mischief (3/1).    

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Holy Bull Stakes Predictions

Cyclone Mischief, Legacy Island, and Lord Miles should all vie for favoritism when a field of eight Kentucky Derby hopefuls meet in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. 

Cyclone Mischief comes into the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull off an impressive allowance victory over the track. The son of Into Mischief, who was making his first start at Gulfstream, stalked, pounced, and drew off to win by 5 ¾ lengths.

Before that, he had broken his maiden nicely at Keeneland for trainer Dale Romans in his second career start and then briefly led in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, before fading a bit down the lane.

Legacy Island, meanwhile, has finished first in all three of his starts, all of which have come at Gulfstream. He lost his perfect record when he was disqualified from first in the Mucho Macho Man for interference.

A son of Shackleford, he won his debut by five lengths in September and followed that by winning a one-mile allowance race by three lengths. He finished first in the Mucho Macho Man by a half-length before being placed second by the stewards.

The least experienced of the three favorites, Lord Miles could be the one preferred by the bettors on Saturday for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr.

The son of Curlin impressed in his career debut at Gulfstream, overcoming early bumping to rally and romp by nearly six lengths. He then came from well back in the Mucho Macho Man to finish a fast closing third, beaten by less than a length.

As a Kentucky Derby trail race, the Holy Bull will offer qualifying points for the first Saturday in May on a scale of 20-8-6-4-2 to the first five finishers.

Holy Bull Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Lord Miles

Although he lacks experience, this son of Curlin has quickly shown himself to be a horse of serious potential for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. Despite a troubled beginning in his debut race, he powered right on by his competition to break his maiden going away in November. 

Off only that 6-furlong sprint, he went next in the one-mile Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Well back early, the inexperienced colt rallied wide and finished fast. It was only good enough for third, but it only took a few more strides past the wire for him to be in front. 

He’ll have top rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle for this one and will look to be a little closer early this time. If he can make another step forward in his third career race, he certainly could take all the money here.

Cyclone Mischief

This son of Into Mischief has been well-liked since before he ever made it to the races, and he has not disappointed to this point. After a game defeat in his career debut, he came right back to romp at Keeneland going 1 1/16 miles. 

Off that victory, he went right up to strong competition and led into the stretch of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. Although he was passed by several late, he never gave up and was beaten less than three lengths. 

He began his 3-year-old season with his best race yet, by leaving some well-liked horses in his wake in a local allowance race. With that nice win over the track and his strong tactical speed, I expect him to be the one to beat on Saturday. He is the top pick.

Legacy Isle

Despite being disqualified from the win and placed second last time, you could easily argue that this is the most accomplished horse in the field. All three of his career starts have come at Gulfstream Park and the son of Shackleford has crossed the wire first in all three. 

He easily handled maiden and allowance competition in his first two before facing tougher competition last time. He finished first in the Mucho Macho Man but was moved down to second for interference.

In a race without a lot of speed, he is the most likely early leader and must be respected. Of the early leaders, I like Cyclone Mischief slightly better, but he is an obvious threat.

Rocket Can

This gray son of Into Mischief is the first of two for trainer Bill Mott. To date, he’s only won once in four starts and has yet to face stakes company, but he has shown plenty of improvement since starting his career in a pair of sprints at Saratoga. 

After a solid maiden win in the slop at Churchill Downs, he faced a strong allowance field at the same track and ran a very good race to finish second. Unlike many in the field, he can stay close early, and he is also proven at the distance.

It is worth noting that Luis Saez has chosen to ride Legacy Isle after riding this one last time. Still, he looks like a horse who has the ability to be a part of the exotics on Saturday.

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 Mr. Bob

Shown respect by bettors at 9/2 odds in the Mucho Macho Man, this son of Practical Joke, unfortunately, found trouble and was last early. He did make up some ground and was beaten less than five lengths by Legacy Isle. 

Perhaps with a better trip, he could have been more of a factor five weeks ago. Before that, he showed nice progress while sprinting and was a good second in a Churchill Downs stakes race in his third career start. 

It remains to be seen whether or not he will appreciate the added ground, but he does deserve consideration, and another shot, after a troubled beginning in his Gulfstream Park debut.

West Coast Cowboy

The second of two in the field for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr., this son of West Coast has only made two career starts. He broke his maiden at Gulfstream, winning a tough stretch battle on a sloppy track while going a flat mile. 

Two months later he returned in an allowance race over the track and was not well-liked at the windows. It was a decent performance, but he was no real threat to Legacy Isle when finishing fourth. 

He’s again had plenty of time between performances but would need to show big improvement here to be one of the major players.

Il Miracolo

This Gun Runner colt easily broke his maiden going wire-to-wire at Gulfstream Park three starts back, but that was his only victory in six career starts. 

Moved up to stakes competition for the last two, he did nothing in a sloppy edition of the Grade 2 Remsen, before checking in seventh in the Mucho Macho Man. Given that last performance against several that are in this race, I find him hard to recommend on Saturday.

Shadow Dragon

This New York bred is the second of two from the Mott barn. In his debut, he came from the clouds to win a maiden sprint against fellow state-breds. Matched against stakes company next out, he showed little going a flat mile. 

He’s had some time off since that last effort, so he could improve for his Hall of Fame trainer, but still, the son of Army Mule will tackle open company for the first time in this graded stakes field. I do not like his chances.

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How to watch the Holy Bull Stakes

Holy Bull Stakes Race Information

  • What: Holy Bull Stakes (Grade 3)

  • Location: Gulfstream Park

  • Time: Saturday, February 4 -- 5:43 pm Eastern time

  • How to Watch: FanDuel TV

  • Purse: $250,000

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Brian Zipse

Horse Racing Betting Analyst

Horse Racing
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Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Communications
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