Saturday, January 24, 2015

Upstart Impresses in Holy Bull Stakes

Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) third-place finisher Upstart turned in an eye-catching performance in his three-year-old debut, drawing off to score an impressive victory in the $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.

Sent off as the 2-1 second choice in a field of eight, Upstart raced wide while tracking fractions of :24.52 and :48.82 set by Bluegrass Singer, then moved up strongly to take command after three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.49. Under urging from jockey Jose Ortiz, Upstart extended his lead through the homestretch in powerful fashion, running the fourth quarter in :24.57 and the final sixteenth in :06.55 to win by 5 1/2 lengths in the time of 1:43.61 for a mile and a sixteenth.

Frosted, favored off a runner-up effort in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) last November, was boxed in early on before shifting out in the homestretch and rallying to second by 2 1/2 lengths over Bluegrass Singer. Juan and Bina, an 82-1 shot, was rank early on while racing in sixth before rallying to complete the superfecta. Keen Ice, Frammento, First Down, Decision Day, and High Noon Rider completed the order of finish, the latter being eased in the homestretch.

Trained by Richard Violette, Jr. and owned by Ralph Evans, Upstart is a son of Flatter out of the Touch Gold mare Party Silks. For his victory in the Holy Bull, Upstart earned $238,080 and 10 Kentucky Derby qualification points.

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