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Coup de Grace Likely for Holy Bull

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Photo: Eclipse Spotswire

Coup de Grace, who ran his record to 2-0 with an optional claiming allowance win at Gulfstream on Dec. 15, is likely to make his 3-year-old debut in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G2) on Jan. 25.            

Trainer Chad Brown said he wants to stretch the Tapit colt for his next start, and the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull for 3-year-olds is a logical spot. To date, Coup de Grace’s victories have come at six furlongs and one mile.            

“His last race was a nice progression to a one-turn mile. He handled it fine, so now he needs to run two turns,” Brown said. “He’ll work again over the weekend coming up, and we’ll continue to keep all our options open with him. Right now, we’re leaning toward staying at home and running him in the Holy Bull.”            

Owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, Coup de Grace breezed a half-mile in 49.75 seconds at Palm Meadows on Sunday, his first work since his most recent effort, a one-length victory over Hy Kodiak Warrior in his debut against winners.           

“I was real happy with that (work),” Brown said. “He’s convinced me he needs to run in a stakes race. I don’t know if I’m looking for something very specific out of his next work; I just want to see him continue to thrive down here and show me that he’ll be fine with the stretch-out around two turns. As long as he continues to train the way he has been, the way he’s moving and the way he’s galloping out, every indication is that he should be able to handle two turns.”            

At this time last year, Brown had another promising 3-year-old son of Tapit on the Triple Crown trail for Fox Hill named Normandy Invasion. Second in the 2012 Remsen (G2) to end his 2-year-old season, Normandy Invasion was fifth in the Risen Star (G2) and second in the Wood Memorial (G1) before finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) after taking the lead into midstretch.            

A deep foot abscess that developed after the Derby eventually ended Normandy Invasion’s sophomore season prematurely, but he has been training toward his 2014 return. He has had three works at Palm Meadows, most recently going four furlongs in 50 seconds on Sunday.            

“He’s been working well and moving well. Right now, we’re real happy with his progress,” Brown said. “I don’t know where or when we’ll run him, but when the time comes we’ll discuss that with Mr. Porter and come up with a plan together. “It was disappointing to lose him for the second half of the year. Sometimes, those are the risks when you march on to the Derby. It’s a hard road, and it’s a hard race if you run it in. Not every horse can come out of that 100 percent. He was one that seemed like it took a lot out of him. He had a couple different minor things that all added up to a vacation. He looks great now, and hopefully he’ll have a great 2014.”

 

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Older Comments about Coup de Grace Likely for Holy Bull...

pretty strong deep field for an early derby prep compared to the Sham at SA. looking forward to this one.

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