Maximus Mischief, Mihos matchup highlights Holy Bull

The Grade II, $350,000 Holy Bull Stakes is the feature event this Saturday at Gulfstream Park. A field of 10 three-year-olds will line up for this 1 1/16th-mile test in pursuit of precious Kentucky Derby points (10 to the winner down to one point for fourth). Post time for the Holy Bull, Race 11 of 12 on the day, is scheduled for 5:13 p.m. EST. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#6 MIHOS (5-2) won last month’s Mucho Macho Man Stakes over this course in his most recent outing. He and Jose Ortiz took advantage took advantage of a fast pace and closed strongly. MIHOS is now 2-for-3 lifetime, with his lone loss coming to Vekoma on debut. He’ll lose Ortiz to #8 MAXIMUS MISCHIEF but lures John Velazquez, who forwent the mount on the Todd Pletcher-trained #2 FEDERAL CASE. MIHOS should get another legitimate pace to work with here with MAXIMUS MISCHIEF, #9 GLADIATOR KING and #10 GOING FOR GOLD all expected to line up for the lead and attempt to clear from wide posts with a short run into the first turn. As long as he avoids traffic, MIHOS should prove best in the Holy Bull.

#2 FEDERAL CASE (6-1) was last seen running his record to 2-for-2 against three other rivals at Gulfstream. He’ll get a legitimate class test today but should hold fair odds as the likely third-choice. The $650k purchase continues to train well and attracts Javier Castellano. FEDERAL CASE would only need to improve slightly to get the lion’s share of the purse on Saturday.

#1 GARTER AND TIE (12-1) has the home track advantage in the Holy Bull, if nothing else. All seven of his lifetime starts have been at Gulfstream, including his Smooth Air win two-back and his third-place effort in the Mucho Macho Man. He is probably not making up 2 1/2-lengths on MIHOS on Saturday, but he’s an underneath factor with Tyler Gaffalione aboard.

#8 MAXIMUS MISCHIEF (even-money, morning-line favorite) is a perfect 3-for-3 lifetime, going gate-to-wire each time. Jose Ortiz will try to avoid getting his mount into a pace duel, but it may be inevitable with his running style. MAXIMUS MISCHIEF looks like a ‘play-against’ at a short price.

The play: $5 exacta 6/2, $2 exacta 6/1, $3 win 2 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Javier Castellano should be strongly considered this Saturday. In the run up to the Holy Bull, Castellano has five mounts, three of which are priced at 4-1 or less. That includes second-choice Fashion Faux Pas in the Forward Gal Stakes. He’ll be in the irons on FEDERAL CASE in the feature.

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