01/25/2010 12:00AM

Holy Bull 1-2 pointing to a rematch

Bob Coglianese
Winslow Homer (right) edged Jackson Bend in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Saturday. They are likely to meet again in the Fountain of Youth on Feb. 20.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Winslow Homer and Jackson Bend, who put on a pretty good show when finishing first and second in Saturday's , both came out of the race in good order and if all goes well over the next four weeks figure to meet again in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 20.

Winslow Homer split horses near the inside and outfinished the wide-running Jackson Bend by three-quarters of a length to capture the one-mile Holy Bull. The pair dominated their seven rivals, with William's Kitten finishing another 3 1/4 lengths farther back in third. Winslow Homer received a Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

"He seems very good at the moment, and we're very happy with him," said Anthony Dutrow, who trains Winslow Homer for owner Rick Porter. "I'll continue to watch him over the next handful of days. That will tell me for sure what kind of effect the race had on him, although right now I'm feeling the race wasn't hard on Homer.

"The likelihood is that we'll be showing up in the Fountain of Youth."

Trainer Nick Zito was equally pleased with both Jackson Bend's effort and the way in which he came out of the Holy Bull, his first start since completing a sweep of the Florida Stallion series with a victory in the In Reality at Calder three months earlier.

"I thought he ran a great race - he was very gallant," Zito said. "The winner was very good, but I wish the race would have shaped up a little differently. It looked like they all thought they had to beat our little mighty mite, and he got pushed out down the backstretch and again at the top of the stretch. Things might have been different had he not lost all that ground."

Zito also noted that Jackson Bend had to concede four pounds to Winslow Homer in the Holy Bull.

"It was like a victory without the trophy," Zito said. "Me and his fans ripped up a couple of tickets on Saturday, but we'll get it back. He'll build off this race. Let's hope he has 30 good days and then we'll come back in the Fountain of Youth and see what happens."

Trainer Todd Pletcher reported that Aikenite, who finished sixth in the Holy Bull, came out of the race none the worse for wear. Pletcher said he doesn't know where Aikenite will run next.

"He stumbled a little bit at the start and was always under pressure from Jackson Bend on his outside," Pletcher said. "He really couldn't settle. I think he'll settle better going two turns, and hopefully this race will move us forward."

Pletcher does have a horse picked out to face Winslow Homer and Jackson Bend in the Fountain of Youth. He is the steadily improving Eskendereya, an impressive allowance winner here earlier in the meet. Eskendereya, a son of Giant's Causeway, had what Pletcher described as a "maintenance work" when going four furlongs in 50.30 seconds at Palm Meadows on Sunday.

Buddy's Saint works for return

One of the most interested spectators in the Holy Bull was trainer Bruce Levine, who opted to pass the race and await the Fountain of Youth with Buddy's Saint.

"I thought the winner ran well - who knows how good he is? - although he had a nice trip and the race came home a little slow, even though the track was on the quick side," said Levine.

Buddy's Saint, who has not started since winning the Grade 2 Remsen by nearly five lengths on Nov. 28, continues to progress nicely toward his 3-year-old debut. Buddy's Saint worked five furlongs in 59.34 and galloped out three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.58 over a very fast track shortly after the renovation break Sunday.

"I was happy with the work, although it was hard to gauge since the track has been so fast," Levine said. "He's not normally a good work horse by himself. I'm in good shape with him right now."

Lost Aptitude, another potential candidate for the 1 1/8-mile Fountain of Youth, worked five furlongs in 1:01.23 over a good but drying-out racetrack Monday morning, drifting some as he approached the wire after going his opening three-eighths in 34.98. Lost Aptitude also drifted during the latter stages of Calder's Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby on the turf. He was beaten a head by the promising Fly by Phil.

Wind affects Monday workouts

A brisk tailwind down the backstretch and headwind through the stretch affected all workers here Monday. Like Lost Aptitude, This Ones for Phil went out very fast, an opening three-eighths in 34.22, before fighting the wind down the stretch to finish five furlongs in 59.18 with retired Hall of Fame rider Angel Cordero Jr. aboard.

This Ones for Phil was one of just seven horses entered for the Sunshine Millions Sprint, one of three stakes in the Sunshine Millions series here Saturday along with the Turf and Distaff. All three races were drawn Monday.

* Jockey Jeremy Rose will enter Wednesday's program needing a single victory to reach 2,000 career wins. Rose, who was aboard Jackson Bend in the Holy Bull, got his 1,999th victory with a beautiful ride aboard the Anthony Dutrow-trained Cliff Meadows in Sunday's sixth race.

* Trainer Bill Mott broke out of a mini-slump to begin the meet when he sent out Birdrun to a popular victory in Sunday's featured seventh race. Birdrun outlasted Caixa Eletronica and Fine Flyer to capture the second-level optional claiming race under Kent Desormeaux.

* The Pletcher-trained Quality Road tops a list of 18 horses nominated for the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on Feb. 6. Take the Points, whom Pletcher also nominated to the Donn, will instead run the same afternoon in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf.