Fierceness Comes Out Of Holy Bull In Good Order

Fierceness | Benoit

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'TDN Rising Star' Fierceness (City of Light), a disappointing third in his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's GIII Holy Bull S., exited the race in good order, reports owner Mike Repole.

“He's perfectly fine,” Repole said in a text message.

Fierceness, the 2023 2-Year-Old male Eclipse champion, was coming off an overpowering win in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile and most believed he would pick up right where he left off in the Holy Bull, where he was the 1-5 favorite. Instead, he finished third, beaten 3 1/2 lengths.

When asked why he thought Fierceness came up short, Repole pointed to his trip.

“It was nothing more than the obvious,” Repole wrote. “Hit on both sides coming out of the gate. Wide. Bumped again at the top of the stretch. Flattened out. Last time he ran bad [when seventh in the Champagne], his next race was pretty good.”

When asked if the GI Florida Derby was still the next target for Fierceness, Repole replied: “Can't say for sure. Plenty of options on the table.”

The race was won by 9-1 shot Hades (Awesome Slew). A Florida-bred, he is undefeated in three starts and won the Holy Bull by two lengths under Paco Lopez.

“He came out of the race great,” said trainer Joe Orseno. “No decision on our next race but I am leaning towards the Florida Derby.”

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