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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. views Saturday’s $200,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park as the ideal test of Awesome Jerry’s qualifications for continuing on the Road to the Florida Derby (G1).
“If he’s ever going to get two turns, it will be here,” said Joseph of the 1 1/16-mile headliner on Saturday’s 12-race program with 5 graded stakes. “It’s kind to horses with speed like himself and there’s a short wire. I think it’s a good spot to try.”
The Holy Bull will be Awesome Gerry’s first try around two turns… on a conventional 1-mile track. The son of Liam’s Map wrapped up his juvenile campaign with a close second in the seven-furlong Jean Lafitte Stakes around the two turns of the ‘bullring’ at Delta Downs.
Racing with blinkers for the first time in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes, Awesome Gerry showed the way into the stretch before finishing third, 2 3/4 lengths behind victorious Mutasaabeq and 8 1/2 lengths ahead of the fourth-place finisher.
“The last time he ran a mile, I thought he handled the distance. He stayed on after he was passed,” Joseph said. “We’re going to give him another go at it. He’s training very well. I think he’s going to run a bang-up race.”
Awesome Gerry won the first 2 races of his career at Gulfstream and Gulfstream West before hitting the road to finish fourth in the Nyquist at Keeneland and second in the Jean Lafitte.
Awesome Gerry is scheduled to wear blinkers again Saturday.
“I worked him with blinkers again, and he relaxed much better. I think he’s going to run a good race,” said Joseph, who named Tyler Gaffalione to ride the colt owned by John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC and LC Racing LLC.
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