The son of Holy Bull is a perfect three-for-three this year, breaking his maiden first time out at the Fair Grounds on February 7 then defeating allowance company at Turfway Park on April 2 before his Derby Trial victory at Churchill Downs on April 25.
Last week it was announced that Hull was going to be pointed to the Grade II Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
“The Kentucky Derby was a very hard, grueling race and any horse coming out of that will be compromised to a certain extent,” said co-owner Barry Irwin, owner of Team Valor International. “I look at the Derby as like a heavyweight boxing match. It is tough enough under normal conditions but the way that track was Saturday it could compromise any of those horses headed to the Preakness.”
Hull will breeze at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning.
“Our biggest fear has been we have never run around two turns and it sure would be nice if we had done it once so the horse could get the condition and experience but sometimes life is not ideal and you have to seize the opportunity when it presents itself,” added Irwin. “I like the horse but it was the jockey who swayed me. The trainer is confident in the horse but the jockey is over the moon about how good the horse is. He says we have gotten nowhere near the bottom of him. That encouraged me to want to try the Preakness.”
The Preakness now has four confirmed starters: Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, Papa Clem, the fourth place finisher in Saturday’s “Run for the Roses” and Big Drama, who is five-for seven in his career.
The Preakness is limited to 14 starters. Fourteen of the last 17 years have seen double-digit starters.
The Post Position Draw for the $1 million classic is Wednesday, May 13 on HRTV and ESPN 360 at 5 p.m.