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Derby Contenders Line Up For 2011 Holy Bull

One Kentucky Derby contender is going to take a giant step towards Churchill Downs after the running of today's Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. With the withdrawal of Boys at Tosconova (Officer), the one to beat appears to be Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) who was second best on two consecutive occasions to one of this year's leading Derby contenders To Honor And Serve (Bernardini). He's been laid off late November, when bested by two lengths in the Grade 2 Remsen, and a recent series of bullet works is a bold statement from connections that obviously think he can go all the way.

The three year-old son of Macho Uno still has plenty of upside and he retains Eibar Coa for the trip.

Delta Downs Jackpot winner Gourmet Dinner (Trippi) comes back from a disappointing show on the left coast in the Grade 1 Cashcall Futurity when he finished a well-beaten fourth. Synthetic obviously isn't his thing and he really did just come up against better horses on the day. His 93 Beyer in the Jackpot definitely puts him in the mix, but his deep-closing style doesn't translate that well to coming out of the one stall. He's a contender but he lacks options unless he gets a brilliant ride.

Speaking of deep closers, Nick Zito's Dialed In (Mineshaft) will be dropping in late from the far stall if things go according to how his sole race, a maiden score at Churchill, is anything to go by. He goes up against way more experience in this race and, on a track that should favour early pace, Julien Leparoux will have be sure to not to leave him too much to do. 6/1 looks a bit short on this guy, but they didn't pay $475,000 at the Fasig-Tipton August sale for nothing.

Sweet Ducky (Pulpit) conquered a pair of ungraded stakes at Monmouth back in the fall and has been laid-off since a disappointing kick at the Delta Downs Jackpot. Joe Bravo retains the mount and he gets credibility having taken three wins from five starts - all of which boasted purses over $70K. He's yet to win outside the Jersey Shore, so he might be a deep exotics consideration, and the intention is likely going to be for him to jump on the lead.

Black N Beauty (Devil His Due) is finding form at the right time and boasts a Gulfstream score that many in the field lack. However, the step up from 40K N1X to a major pre-Derby prep is a pronounced one and 6/1 looks a little short. 

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