Using Holy Bull pair in Derby Doubles bonus play

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

February 2nd, 2018's Derby Doubles bonus is first available to players on Saturday and the concept is simple. Hit a Double that includes one of the three Kentucky Derby (G1) preps -- the Withers (G3), Holy Bull (G2), or Robert B. Lewis (G3) -- and earn a 20 percent bonus on your gross winnings up to $100 for the day. (Don't forget to opt-in to qualify first).

Unlike the Withers and Lewis, where there are two different Doubles to choose from for each race, the Holy Bull is included in just one Double as it's the last of 12 races on the card. The preceding race is the $100,000 Dania Beach (G3) for three-year-olds on the grass. It's this Double I'll be concentrating on.

The morning line favorite for the Dania Beach is #6 UNTAMED DOMAIN (8-5), and I'm confident of singling him here. After adding blinkers last fall, the colt was up in time to take the Summer (G2) at Woodbine, and then beat all save Mendelssohn in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). He's a clear standout on class.

Connections are looking to possibly trying Untamed Domain on dirt in the near future. Why not as a son of Derby winner Animal Kingdom? While a loss here would obviously not preclude from doing so in the future, my hunch is that they might think twice if he were not to perform up to snuff against this field. I'm reasonably confident he's not here just for the exercise.

In the Holy Bull, I'm going to side against the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) one-two finishers #1 ENTICED (the 3-1 morning line favorite) and #7 TIZ MISCHIEF. The race itself was slower than fillies ran in the Golden Rod (G2) on the same card, so I'm taking a wait-and-see approach with that pair.

#2 FREE DROP BILLY (6-1) was a strong second in the Hopeful (G1) and then romped in the Breeders' Futurity (G1), but threw in an inexplicable clunker in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). I'll draw a line through that one and expect better with the red-hot Luis Saez taking over the reins.

#8 PONY UP (8-1) is also kind of interesting and will be a bit of a price for Todd Pletcher. He's run well every time he's been to post, and most recently was a narrowly beaten second in the $100,000 Kitten's Joy on turf. Note he debuted on dirt last July and handled this exact surface rather well when missing by a half-length.

My Double play on races 11-12 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday will be 6 with 2,8.

Be sure to check out Ed DeRosa's Derby Doubles analysis and general Double play strategy, and CLICK HERE for FREE Ultimate PPs of the Holy Bull.