Six quality Thoroughbreds line up in Saturday’s $150,000 Harlan’s Holiday, which is a preparation run for the Pegasus World Cup meeting next month.
Fearless and Mighty Heart headline horse racing betting markets and we expect them to go close in the Gulfstream Park feature.
However, the likes of last-start winners Blue Steel and South Bend will take beating.
Fearless Nearing Win
The Todd Pletcher-trained 5-year-old comes off consecutive placings and he’s close to his best form.
The son of Ghostzapper is a four-time winner with his most recent win coming in February at Gulfstream Park, which was his third at the track.
Having winning experience on the circuit is ideal form and bettors should be confident of a winning run. He wasn’t far behind Last Judgment in the Pimlico Special in May, and despite having seven months off, Pletcher is confident.
“He likes the track and he ran a good race off the layoff, so we’re thinking that should set him up good for the Harlan’s Holiday,” Pletcher told HorseRacingNation.
Due to his size, he was patiently handled by connections. However, his ability was there to see after winning his debut performance at Gulfstream Park in fine style. Pletcher says he has improved with the ultimate gear change.
““I remember him as a yearling, and the one concern was – how big he was,” Pletcher said. “Fortunately, he hasn’t grown a lot. He was big enough to begin with. He was a horse that the guys at WinStar said was a difficult horse to break and get ready.
“He’s been gelded and since then, his behavior has been good and he’s been consistent. He added.”
We expect Fearless to be well-backed with the sportsbook and to be right in the thick of the finish.
Mighty Heart Owns Winning Claims
The biggest danger to Fearless is easily Mighty Heart, who won the Grade II Autumn Stakes at Woodbine last start.
He is a 4-year-old son of Dramedy who has done most of his racing in Canada, but he has performed well Stateside. He won the Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs, which followed a third placing at Keeneland.
“He’s obviously run well on synthetic, but he’s also run really well on dirt. He won the Prince of Wales on dirt. When he ran great at Churchill Downs when he won the Blame. His race at Keeneland was also very good.” trainer Josie Carroll said.
Beating the likes of Sir Winston and Special Forces is an excellent form guide for the Harlan’s Holiday. He finished third behind race rival South Bend earlier this year, but he has gone from strength-to-strength since.
With seven runs under his belt already this year, fitness is on his side and that should be reflected in betting online markets.
South Bend Hitting Its Straps
South Bend isn’t the most consistent runner, but his win at Churchill Downs last start carries weight.
The William Mott-trained colt got back to winning form in allowance company, which was his third win in that grade.
His best performances came when running a credible fourth in the Grade I Travers Stakes behind Tiz the Law and fourth in the Stephen Foster behind Maxfield.
Despite not having a statement win on his record, bettors have to respect his top-level ability. He can produce a poor effort to disappoint bettors, but when he’s on his game, he could put a couple of lengths on this field.
The sportsbook has South Bend on the third line of betting 4-1, which is a fair price for a logical trifecta hope.