The first of three Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races taking place at Gulfstream Park this winter is the $200,000 Holy Bull (G3), slated to take place on Saturday. The race has been won by a bevy of talented horses through the years, including 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. Held over 1 1/16 miles, the Holy Bull awards Kentucky Derby qualification points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis.

Jirafales
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(74) when winning his debut at Gulfstream Park West.
Total Earnings:
$21,600
Owner:
OGMA Investments and Off The Hook
Breeder:
Off The Hook Partners
Trainer:
Gustavo Delgado
Jockey:
John Velazquez
Sire:
Social Inclusion
Dam:
Gran Pashita
Color:
Bay

Inexperienced colt has only run once, capitalizing on a quick pace to rally and win his debut sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Park West. His margin of victory was eye-catching (4 3/4 lengths), but Jirafales was facing fellow Florida-breds rather than open company, and his 74 Brisnet Speed rating suggests he'll need improvement to factor in the Holy Bull.

Willy Boi
Total 2 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(92) when winning a Gulfstream Park allowance race.
Total Earnings:
$48,000
Owner:
Lea Farms
Breeder:
Ocala Stud and William J. Terrell
Trainer:
Jeff Engler
Jockey:
Junior Alvarado
Sire:
Uncaptured
Dam:
Shining Moment
Color:
Bay

Up-and-coming gelding has gone 2-for-2 facing Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park, wiring a maiden sprint in narrow fashion before claiming an allowance race by 2 3/4 lengths. Willy Boi showed tenacity in the latter event, dueling for the lead through fast fractions before kicking clear down the stretch. But he's never run farther than 6 furlongs and will be facing much tougher company in the Holy Bull.

Papetu
Total 5 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(97) when finishing second in the Mucho Macho Man S.
Total Earnings:
$78,325
Owner:
Magic Stables
Breeder:
Almar Farm
Trainer:
Antonio Sano
Jockey:
Leonel Reyes
Sire:
Dialed In
Dam:
Lady Malkin
Color:
Chestnut

Although Papetu failed to factor in a pair of graded stakes at Saratoga last summer, he's been a force to reckon with at Gulfstream Park. A son of 2011 Holy Bull winner Dialed In, Papetu won his first two starts sprinting over this track last summer and recently returned from a layoff to finish second in Gulfstream's 1-mile Mucho Macho Man S. Papetu has excellent tactical speed and brings competitive Brisnet Speed ratings to the Holy Bull, stamping the chestnut colt as a logical contender.

Amount
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(84) when winning his debut at Gulfstream Park.
Total Earnings:
$24,000
Owner:
Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable
Breeder:
Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider
Trainer:
Todd Pletcher
Jockey:
Luis Saez
Sire:
Curlin
Dam:
Extent
Color:
Chestnut

The first of two Todd Pletcher trainees entered in the Holy Bull, Amount was visually impressive in a 7-furlong maiden race on Dec. 26 at Gulfstream, tracking the pace from fourth place before powering clear to win by 5 3/4 lengths. As a son of Curlin out of a Pulpit mare, Amount is bred to improve while stretching out in distance. A small step forward can put him in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Tarantino
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(78) when finishing second in the Zuma Beach S.
Total Earnings:
$77,000
Owner:
SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Stonestreet Stables, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm, and Robert E. Masterson
Breeder:
Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding
Trainer:
Rodolphe Brisset
Jockey:
Edgard Zayas
Sire:
Pioneerof the Nile
Dam:
Without Delay
Color:
Bay

Sold for $610,000 as a yearling, Tarantino is a nose away from being undefeated in three starts on turf. He was particularly sharp in a 1-mile allowance race at Gulfstream last month, rating in second place before pouncing to victory by 1 1/4 lengths. The question is, can he handle the switch to dirt? His pedigree suggests the transition won't be an issue—Pioneerof the Nile sired 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, and Tarantino's half-sister Before You Know It won a stakes race on dirt. But the Holy Bull is a tough spot for Tarantino to give the main track a try.

Prime Factor
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(94) when winning his debut at Gulfstream Park.
Total Earnings:
$24,000
Owner:
WinStar Farm and CHC INC.
Breeder:
Two Hearts Farm
Trainer:
Todd Pletcher
Jockey:
Irad Ortiz
Sire:
Quality Road
Dam:
Haylie Brae
Color:
Bay

The possible betting favorite sold for $900,000 as a yearling and lived up to expectations with a powerful performance in his Dec. 12 debut at Gulfstream Park. Sprinting 6 furlongs against eight rivals, Prime Factor vied for the early lead through quick fractions, then pulled away under a hand ride to win by 8 3/4 lengths. This effort produced a strong 94 Brisnet Speed rating, and Prime Factor has trained sharply since then, suggesting he's sitting on another big performance. As a son of Quality Road out of a Bernardini mare, running 1 1/16 miles should be well within reach for Prime Factor, who looms as a serious win threat under hot jockey Irad Ortiz.

Greatest Honour
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(97) when breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park.
Total Earnings:
$56,200
Owner:
Courtlandt Farms
Breeder:
Courtlandt Farms
Trainer:
Shug McGaughey
Jockey:
Jose Ortiz
Sire:
Tapit
Dam:
Tiffany's Honour
Color:
Bay

Prime Factor's most formidable opponent might be Greatest Honour, a beautifully bred son of Tapit out of a Street Cry mare. After losing his first three starts against tough competition (including recent Smarty Jones S. winner Caddo River), Greatest Honour overcame a troubled trip to win a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Gulfstream Park by 1 1/2 lengths. This late-rallying victory produced a 97 Brisnet Speed rating (the highest in the Holy Bull field), and the performance was flattered when third-place finisher Another Duke came back to win his next start. Any way you slice it, Greatest Honour has the ability to vie for victory in the Holy Bull.

Sittin On Go
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(90) when winning the Iroquois (G3).
Total Earnings:
$167,520
Owner:
Albaugh Family Stables
Breeder:
Wynnstay
Trainer:
Dale Romans
Jockey:
Corey Lanerie
Sire:
Brody's Cause
Dam:
Set'n On Ready
Color:
Chestnut

The most accomplished runner in the Holy Bull field, Sittin On Go has already made a mark on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, rallying to a 2 1/2-length victory in the Iroquois (G3) last summer. This was a quality effort, considering runner-up Midnight Bourbon later won the Lecomte (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. But Sittin On Go failed to replicate his Iroquois form during the fall, finishing ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and sixth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). He'll need a rebound if he's going to challenge for a top-three finish at Gulfstream.

Awesome Gerry
Total 5 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
1
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
(95) when finishing third in the Mucho Macho Man S.
Total Earnings:
$74,850
Owner:
John Fanelli, Cash is King, LC Racing, Paul Braverman, and Timothy Pinch
Breeder:
John Liviakis
Trainer:
Saffie Joseph
Jockey:
Tyler Gaffalione
Sire:
Liam's Map
Dam:
Star of Munster
Color:
Gray/roan

An experienced runner with five starts under his belt, Awesome Gerry has already hit the board three times against stakes company, most recently finishing third in Gulfstream's Mucho Macho Man S. after carving out a fast pace. This effort yielded a solid 95 Brisnet Speed rating, and Awesome Gerry is eligible to improve if he escapes with a slower pace on Saturday. But a modest tempo seems unlikely since the Holy Bull contains several other talented speed horses, so another top-three finish might be the ceiling for Awesome Gerry's potential in his first start around two turns.