News and STORIES
Bodexpress Will Make Pegasus Audition In Harlan's Holiday
Author: Don Mckee
Published: Thursday December 12, 2019
Bodexpress has run in multiple graded stakes races, and he will do it again in Harlan's Holiday. When he was a maiden, he finished as the runner-up in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1). In the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), he drew in late.
That came before his well-known run in the Preakness Stakes (G1), where he unseated jockey John Velazquez after rearing in the gate and ran with the field.
After winning in his two starts since the Preakness, Bodexpress will move back up to graded stakes. He will be part of the field of eight entered in the $100,000 Harlan's Holiday Stakes (G3) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
If he finishes in the top, he could go to the Jan. 25 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1), which also runs at Gulfstream.
"If he finishes first or second, he'll go to the Pegasus -- that is my plan," trainer and co-owner Gustavo Delgado said.
Bodexpress races for Top Racing, Global Thoroughbred, and Delgado's GDS Racing Stable, and he came back from a five-month layoff Oct. 14 at Gulfstream Park West. There, he broke his maiden in his eighth start, which was a one-mile-and-70-yard maiden special weight.
In a one-mile allowance Nov. 20 at Gulfstream Park West, the 3-year-old Bodemeister colt came back in a one-mile allowance. He broke an 18-year-old track record and hit the finish line in 1:35.58 and finished 6 3/4 lengths in front.
"The horse has been good since he went to the farm," Delgado said. "The best decision after the Preakness Stakes was to send him to the farm. It was good for him. He's come back stronger and more focused."
Jockey Emisael Jaramillo was aboard for both wins, and he will return as jockey.
The Harlan's Holiday
The Harlan's Holiday is a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up. Multiple graded stakes winner Prince Lucky, whose biggest win came at Gulfstream this year, will also run in the race.
The Todd Pletcher trainee will have Velazquez as jockey, and he won his first graded event in the Feb. 23 Hal's Hope Stakes (G3). After that, he came back and took the March 30 Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (G2).
Prince Lucky has started five times since the Gulfstream Park Mile, and they were all at Belmont Park. The 4-year-old Corinthian gelding is a Pennsylvania homebred for Daniel McConnell, and he finished first in the State Dinner Stakes, second in the Kelso Handicap (G2), and fourth last out in the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) when moved back to seven furlongs.
"Seven furlongs is a bit short for him," Pletcher said. "I think he's probably at his very best at a one-turn mile, but we were sort of in a spot where we didn't have too many options. He's another horse that's had success at Gulfstream."
Depending on the outcome on Saturday, Prince Lucky could run in the Pegasus.
"He was 2-for-2 early in the year here," Pletcher added, "so we were thinking if he could be a Pegasus horse, then how would we get there? We felt like the Bold Ruler was sort of a bridge to get us to the Harlan's Holiday, and that will be an opportunity for him to run two turns at Gulfstream for the first time and see how he handles that and see if he earns his way into a position in the Pegasus."
The field also has multiple graded stakes winner War Story, Eye of a Jedi and Red Crescent, both stakes winners in South Florida this year.