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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Holy Bull Winners Often Tail Off


By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile

The Grade III Holy Bull has a good-sized field, but the winners of this race over the last 10 years haven't always fared so well later.

Radical Riley won the 2001 Holy Bull, when the distance was 1 1/16 mile. He didn't make it to the Kentucky Derby and in fact only hit the finish line first one time in 22 subsequent career starts.

In 2002, Booklet took the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull--Harlan's Holiday was second--but Booklet also failed to make it to the Run for the Roses.

Offlee Wild was the 2003 Holy Bull winner, with Powerful Touch and Bham second. He finished twelfth in the Kentucky Derby.

Second of June, foaled on that date, was the 2004 winner of the Holy Bull, still run at 1 1/16 mile. He was hurt after the Fountain of Youth, didn't make it to the Kentucky Derby and never won another race.

Closing Argument took the 2005 edition at the new 1 1/8-mile distance with no grandstand from which to view the race. It was fun to be there with a makeshift paddock and winner's circle. He is an exception to the rule over the past 10 years. You probably remember he finished second in the Kentucky Derby, but no one saw it coming. After Bandini beat him nine lengths in the Blue Grass, he was 71-1 on Derby day.

Then Barbaro came along in 2006 to splash home the winner going a mile and an eighth. And you know the rest of the story.

In 2007, Nobiz Like Shobiz won the race at its current mile distance, and he came home tenth in the Derby.

For some reason, in 2008 the race was scheduled after the Florida Derby at 1 3/16 mile. Hey Byrn won it, and that's about all we need to know.

In 2009 and 2010, Saratoga Sinner won the race going a mile and an eighth, and Winslow Homer won it back at the current mile distance. Both of them either came out of the race hurt or were hurt shortly afterward, and neither again ascended to the heights they saw in the Holy Bull.

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