Rocket Can Gives Red Hot Into Mischief Win in Holy Bull

Rocket Can | Lauren King

A major stepping stone to the GI Curlin Florida Derby, Saturday's Holy Bull appeared on paper at least, to be a competitive affair. Leading the fray was two-time winner Cyclone Mischief (Into Mischief), a $450,000 KEESEP purchase, trained by Dale Romans. Also gaining respect at the window at 5-2 was Frank Fletcher's Rocket Can, who drew the less-than-ideal outside draw in the 8 1/2-furlong test. Hustled along off the blocks and unable to make any real headway, he was fanned out several paths wide going into the first turn as Mr Bob (Practical Joke) took control. Eagerly pulling Tyler Gaffalione along during a solid opening quarter, Cyclone Mischief found himself boxed as Rocket Can loomed to his outside. As the pacesetter continued to show the way through a :48.84 half, Rocket Can continued to bide his time in fourth, although only about two lengths behind the pace. Picking up the tempo around the far turn, Rocket Can soon pushed his head in front approaching the home turn, responded to a swift right-handed reminder by Alvarado in early stretch and dug in late as stable-mate Shadow Dragon (Army Mule) closed from behind to grab the runner-up spot, only 3/4 of a length adrift of the winner. West Coast Cowboy (West Coast) was a clear third. Favored Cyclone Mischief faded to seventh.

“The horse broke sharp, and I hustled out of there just to make sure I'm forwardly placed and he was there for me,” explained Alvarado. “I couldn't really save much ground the first part because everybody had the same idea to get out of there running. I ended up being a little bit wide, but he was very kind. He was nice and relaxed the whole way around, so I was very pleased with what I had under me. By the three-eighths pole I started picking it up little by little knowing that it's the first wire. I had a great feeling going all the way around.”

Rocket Can finished off the board in a pair of sprints at Saratoga last summer before stretching out around to turns to graduate at Churchill Downs Oct. 30. The colt rounded out his juvenile campaign with a close up second-place finish in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance at Churchill Downs Nov. 26.

“It was a little worrisome on the first turn-he was four-wide,” said Mott. “It's a short run to the first turn and he had the outside post. He was four-wide in the first turn and then three-wide. The good part about all that is you have a clear trip. You're running farther than everyone else, but he got a nice clean trip and maybe that's what he needed today.”

Asked whether either of his top two finishers might contest th Mar. 4 GII Fountain of Youth S., he added, “I think we'd want to do that with one of them, for sure.”

Pedigree Notes:
The third graded winner of Saturday and the 62nd graded winner for his sire, Rocket Can is out of the win-less Tension, who is out of Dual Grade I winning Tough Tiz's Sis (Tiznow). After dropping a City of Light colt in 2021, the half-sister to GSW and GISP Tiz Midnight (Midnight Lute) was barren last season and was bred back to Collected.


Saturday, Gulfstream Park
HOLY BULL S.-GIII, $250,000, Gulfstream, 2-4, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.97, ft.
1–ROCKET CAN, 118, c, 3, by Into Mischief
   1st Dam: Tension, by Tapit
   2nd Dam: Tough Tiz's Sis, by Tiznow
   3rd Dam: Leaseholder, by Taylor's Falls
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($245,000 RNA Ylg '21 FTSAUG). O-Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc.; B-Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Junior Alvarado. $150,350. Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-0, $249,738. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Shadow Dragon, 118, c, 3, Army Mule–Fire Assay, by Medaglia d'Oro. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($105,000 Ylg '21 FTKOCT; $375,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR). O-Peachtree Stable; B-AJ Suited (NY); T-William I. Mott. $48,500.
3–West Coast Cowboy, 118, c, 3, West Coast–Coco's Sweetie, by Tenpins. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($35,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP; $170,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR). O-Gentry Farms (A.P. Gentry); B-Gary & Mary West Stables Inc. (KY); T-Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.. $24,250.
Margins: 3/4, 2 1/4, 4 1/4. Odds: 2.60, 34.10, 58.10.
Also Ran: Legacy Isle, Il Miracolo, Lord Miles, Cyclone Mischief, Mr Bob.
Click for the chart or the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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