Holy Bull won't run in Belmont

June 03, 1994|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

Holy Bull will not run in the Belmont Stakes June 11.

The horse's owner-trainer, Jimmy Croll, said he reached that decision yesterday, three days after the gray 3-year-old colt decisively beat older horses Monday in the Metropolitan Handicap.

Instead, Holy Bull could make his next start in the July 3 Dwyer Handicap at Belmont Park and use that race as a springboard to the July 31 Haskell Invitational Handicap on Croll's home grounds at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

"It's just too quick to run him back in the Belmont [Stakes]," Croll said. "It isn't right for the horse. You can't dance every dance and expect to have a horse for the fall or for next year. That's why I skipped the Preakness. If I had run him at Pimlico, I wouldn't have a horse right now."

Croll said that Holy Bull went back to the track at Monmouth yesterday morning and looked fine.

"But you can't be greedy," Croll added. "You have to space these races out. I would like to have a horse to run in the Travers and the Woodward."

The Travers Stakes is run at Saratoga on Aug. 20, and the Woodward Stakes is part of the Belmont Park Championship fall meet.

Holy Bull is not eligible to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs, because he was not nominated to the rich program as a foal. "But there are plenty of other races for him," Croll said.

Before he had learned of Holy Bull's defection yesterday, Bruce Lombardi, racing secretary at Belmont Park, said he expected a small Belmont Stakes field.

"Right now, I'm looking at six horses, but we always seem to get a few last-minute entries. So we might wind up with a field of seven or eight horses," Lombardi said.

The prospective lineup has Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin, Preakness winner Tabasco Cat, Derby runner-up Strodes Creek, Brocco, fourth in the Derby, and Signal Tap and Amathos, newcomers to the Triple Crown series.

Signal Tap is a son of Fappiano and is owned by Centennial Farms and trained by Scotty Schulhofer, the same owner-trainer combination that won last year's Belmont Stakes with Colonial Affair.

Signal Tap won his last start in a Belmont Park allowance race May 13. Before that, he was fifth, beaten by 5 3/4 lengths in the Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah Race Course.

Amathos finished second in the Illinois Derby at Sportsman's Park on April 30 and has not raced since.

Lombardi considers him a Belmont Stakes possibility along with the Charlie Whittingham-trained Numerous, who was fifth in the Preakness.

"Charlie is definitely running Strodes Creek, but my guess is that he's going to run Numerous in the Colin Stakes, which is another 3-year-old stakes on the Belmont card," Lombardi said.

Fourth-place Preakness finisher Kandaly probably will not run in the Belmont Stakes. The horse was shipped from Pimlico Race Course to Arlington International Racecourse on Wednesday and arrived there early yesterday morning.

Robert Kelly, assistant to the horse's trainer, Louie Roussel III, said that the Alydar colt will go in the Ohio Derby on June 18 or the Round Table Stakes at Arlington on July 9.

Only two horses from the Preakness -- the first two finishers, Tabasco Cat and Go For Gin -- appear Belmont-bound.

That's the fewest Preakness starters to run in the Belmont since only one Preakness entrant, Ferdinand, started in the 1986 Belmont. He finished third behind Danzig Connection and Johns Treasure.

If six horses start in the Belmont, it will be the smallest field since 1988, when a six-horse field started. That race was won by Risen Star, the Preakness winner.

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