01/21/2015 11:55AM

Decisions pending on Bluegrass Singer, Dom the Bomb

Barbara D. Livingston
Bluegrass Singer, winning the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream, has been entered in both the Holy Bull and the Hutcheson for Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainers Marcus Vitali and Larry Rivelli found themselves in similar situations after entries were drawn for Saturday’s program, both having cross-entered their best 3-year-olds in the Grade 2 Holy Bull and Grade 3 Hutcheson. The Holy Bull is at 1 1/16 miles, and the Hutcheson is at seven furlongs.

Vitali entered Bluegrass Singer, who is fresh off a victory in the one-mile Mucho Macho Man Stakes here Jan. 3. Rivelli entered Dom the Bomb, who closed out his 2-year-old campaign with two one-sided tallies against Illinois-bred competition.

To compound the issue, both trainers have named the same riders on their horses. Vitali has Eclipse Award winner Javier Castellano on Bluegrass Singer if he runs in the Holy Bull and Ramon Hernandez for the Hutcheson. Rivelli named Castellano on Dom the Bomb in the Hutcheson and Hernandez for the Holy Bull.

Vitali said on Wednesday that he’s leaning toward running Bluegrass Singer in the Holy Bull because the race carries qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby.

:: GULFSTREAM PARK: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s card live

“And Castellano is a hot commodity right now,” he said. “When you can get the Eclipse Award winner, it obviously has to weigh on your decision.”

If he starts in the Holy Bull, Bluegrass Singer will be attempting two turns for the first time on dirt. He did go two turns when finishing second going a mile on grass last fall at Gulfstream Park West. Bluegrass Singer drew post 4 in the Holy Bull and post 8 in the Hutcheson.

“I don’t think the distance is an issue, especially with these last two mile races behind him,” said Vitali. “One thing in our favor, no matter which direction we turn, is the fact we are favorably drawn post position-wise in both races.”

Rivelli said that although he thinks Dom the Bomb may be more effective around two turns, his colt is more likely to run in the Hutcheson on Saturday “because it looks like an easier race.”

“Obviously, we are stuck in the same situation as the connections of Bluegrass Singer, not only because of the riders but since we both have similar running styles,” Rivelli said. “Although my horse showed in his last start that he can rate, and once he settles down he has a high cruising speed.”

Frosted, the runner-up in the Remsen, and Upstart, third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to close out his 2-year-old campaign, likely will be favored in the Holy Bull, while Barbados figures to go postward as the choice in the Hutcheson.