Cyclone Mischief is ‘in a good spot’
Trainer Dale Romans won’t be lacking in confidence as he saddles up Cyclone Calamity for a 3rd grade start on Saturday $250,000 Holy Bull in Gulfstream Park.
“I think he’s one of the best three-year-olds in the country and he’s training like one,” said Romans. “There are a lot of good horses out there, but we’re in a good position right now.”
The Holy Bull, a 1 1/16 mile staker on his way to the Triple Crown, will lead a five tiered stakes program for 3-year-olds.
Cyclone Mischief earned a conspicuous victory in optional eligibility at Gulfstream on January 8th. Bought for $450,000 at the September 2021 Keeneland sale, the son of Into Mischief saved ground while chasing the early pace before making a triple swing to take the lead in the corner into the home stretch and won by 5 to 3 /4 lengths.
Romans had identified Cyclone Mischief as a colt with triple crown potential before starting for the first time in his career – a third place finish in a special weight mile maiden race on September 16 at Churchill Downs where he set a pressurized pace pretended before he faltered late.
“He was a horse we wanted to point to for the Triple Crown trail. He started late so we started him long,” Romans said.
Cyclone Mischief returned a month later to finish with authority in a maiden 1 1/16 mile specialweight race at Keeneland where he maintained the early pace before leading by 5 1/4 lengths. Making his stakes debut at the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) on November 26, he took the lead on course after setting the pace but faltered and finished seventh, beaten by 2 3/4 lengths by the victorious Instant Coffee , who came back to win the Le Comte (G3) January 21 at the exhibition center.
“It was a very good race,” said Romans.
Cyclone Mischief has flown twice since his most promising 3-year debut, including a five furlong practice session in 1:01.41 Saturday morning
“Cyclone comes in as best he can,” said Romans.
Tyler Gaffalione, who rode Cyclone Mischief for the first time in his Gulfstream standings, has the return horse.
Legacy Island would have brought an undefeated record to the Holy Bull had it not been disqualified from first place in Mucho Macho Man on Jan. 1 at Gulfstream.
The Shackleford son graduated five lengths at 6 1/2 furlongs before taking a mile with an optional claim of three lengths. Legacy Island prevailed in Mucho Macho Man by a half length but was disqualified and placed in second place for drifting late in Dreaming of Kona, which was awarded the win.
Hall of Fame coach Bill Mott, who saddled Art Collector for a win at Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), has entered two 3-year-olds in the Holy Bull – Rocket Can and Shadow Dragon.
Rocket Can, also a son of Into Mischief, broke his maiden by two laps in third place on his first attempt and finished by two lengths at Churchill Downs on October 30. The $245,000 purchase in the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale came back down to second place, beating it by a half-length. This is an optional eligibility in his youth finals at Churchill Downs.
“Rocket Can broke his maiden and has had a good money race. He did quite a respectable race at Churchill,” said Mott. “He’s steadily improved with every start.”
Shadow Dragon, a New York-bred son of Army Mule, won straight away at Aqueduct on September 29 before finishing the board in the state breed’s Sleepy Hollow mile.
The New Yorker won first and didn’t show much in the second race. (Peachtree Stable’s co-owner) Mr. (John) Fort wants to take a shot and see where we stand and then of course we’ll reevaluate after we see the race,” Mott said.
Junior Alvarado, who rode Art Collector to victory on Saturday, has the reputation on Rocket Can, and Jose Ortiz has the mount aboard Shadow Dragon.
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. is represented by a pair of stallions in the field of Holy Bull, Lord Miles and West Coast Cowboy.
Lord Miles made an encouraging debut at Gulfstream on November 19, overcoming the early break to win by 5 3/4 lengths. The Curlin son dropped significantly from early pace in the Mucho Macho Man before coming into third place late, less than a length behind Legacy Isle.
Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call at Lord Miles, and Edgard Zayas is named at West Coast Cowboy.
West Coast Cowboy won straight away at Gulfstream on September 18 with a narrow win in the lead by a mile. The West Coast son raced evenly on his return, finishing fourth behind Legacy Isle in an optional eligibility on November 27.
John Grossis Racing Corp., Beast Mode Racing and Mr. Bob of trainer Robert Falcone Jr., who was awarded $75,000 for a third-place finish on his debut at Saratoga, completed a $150,000 award for his new connections at Keeneland 28 October. Practical Joke’s son came back and finished a close second in the 6 1/2 Furlong Ed Brown Stakes at Churchill Downs. After a slow start, he finished sixth in the Mucho Macho Man.
Joel Rosario is set to ride Mr. Bob at the Holy Bull for the first time.
Il Miracolo by Alex Andres, who impressively broke his girl at Gulfstream Park in November, enters the Holy Bull after two off-the-board finishes in the Remsen (G2) in the Aqueduct and the Mucho Macho Man.
Leonel Reyes, who was on board for Il Miracolo’s first win, will return aboard the Antonio Sano intern.