Cairo Prince, who looks to be one of the early favorites for this year's Kentucky Derby which is only 99 days away, will make his three-year-old debut tommorrow in the Grade 3 $400,000 Miller Lite Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. He figures to be the one to beat in this race. In his last start, he nearly outgunned Honor Code in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct, but a hard fought Honor Code denied him a victory in this race, handing this son of Pioneerof the Nile the first loss of his career of three starts. Cairo Prince is currently on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leader board with 4 points, but a win in this race would put him at 14 points as this race is awarded according to the 10-4-2-1 scale. Kiaran McLaughlin, who won the 2005 running of this race with eventual Derby runner-up Closing Argument, trains Cairo Prince and jockey Luis Saez will be in the irons.
Nine fellow three-year-olds will be standing in his way, however. Perhaps his biggest challenger comes from Coup de Grace who comes from the stable of Chad Brown. While Coup de Grace has yet to face stakes company, he is an undefeated 2 for 2 lifetime which includes a win over the Gulfstream Park main track. This will be the son of Tapit's first start around two turns. Jockey John Velazquez, who has recently returned from an injury suffered in last year's Breeders' Cup will be in the irons.
Trainer Shug McGaughey beat Cairo Prince last time with Honor Code and he's out to beat him again, but this time it's with Mr. Speaker who will be running on dirt for the first time this Saturday. His last two starts have both resulted in trips to the winner's circle. In his most recent start, he scored his first stakes victory in the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes at odds of 10-1 where he beat eight other three-year-olds after breaking his maiden in the start prior to that he won as the lukewarm favorite. Jose Lezcano, who rode this son of Pulpit in his most recent, will return to the irons.
Finishing behind Honor Code and Cairo Prince last time out was Wicked Strong who was only beaten a half length in the Remsen Stakes. The three-time starter who has never finished out of the money is looking to turn the tables on Cairo Prince at morning line odds of 8-1. Jimmy Jerkens trains this son of Hard Spun and he will be ridden by Javier Castellano who rode the 2012 winner of this race, Algorithms.
Almost Famous, who was on the radar of many racing fans last fall, returns to the track after having to be scratched from the Kentucky Jockey Club on closing day at Churchill Downs due to injury. All three of his career starts, two of which were victories, took place over the Louisville oval. Pat Byrne, who saddled Take Charge Indy in the Derby two years ago, trains the son of Unbridled's Song who will be ridden by three-time Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel. He figures to be the pace in this 1 1/16 miles event, with Coup de Grace potentially keeping him some company on the front end.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is represented by Intense Holiday, whose past performances might not looks as stellar some of these other ones, but he does have enough stakes experience to make him a legitimate contender. His last two starts took place against Cario Price, which were both fourth-place efforts in the Nashua and the Remsen Stakes, both run at Aqueduct. The son of Harlan's Holiday will be ridden by last year's Derby winning jockey Joel Rosario.
Conquest Titan in the one to watch out for in this field. Two starts ago, he ran last in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile beaten nearly 27 lengths, however he scored an allowance victory on closing day at Churchill Downs this last fall after an unlucky break coming out of the starting gate. Shaun Bridgmohan returns to the irons for trainer Mark Casse and owner John Oxley, who owned 2002 Holy Bull winner, Booklet.
The remaining contenders include Financial Mogul, Best Plan Yet, Our Caravan, and Big Bazinga rounds out the eleven-horse field. The Miller Lite Holy Bull Stakes is Race 10 on the 11-race card of the afternoon and the scheduled post time is approximately 5:03 PM EST.