06/12/2017 3:16PM

Holy Bull's sons and daughters will ensure his legacy

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Justin N. Lane
Mor Spirit wins the Met Mile by more than six lengths on Saturday.

On a highlight-reel day at Belmont Park, one race stood out for Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

“I really wanted to win this race for sentimental reasons, for Holy Bull,” Smith said after piloting Mor Spirit to a 6 1/4-length score in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, his fifth stakes win of the day.

“This was one of his best races, and I wanted to win this one for him today, and he did it. I said, ‘Run one more for the Bull,’ and he did it.”

Smith was the regular rider on Hall of Famer and 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull, who died last week at age 26 at Sheikh Mohammed Al-Maktoum’s Darley America base at Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky. The son of Great Above won 13 of 16 career starts, including Grade 1 victories during his championship season in the Florida Derby, Metropolitan, Haskell Invitational, Travers, and Woodward Stakes.

“If you were putting together your fantasy horse stable for the last 25 years, you’d have to have Holy Bull in your top five,” said Godolphin’s Jimmy Bell, whose family owned Jonabell Farm prior to Sheikh Mohammed’s purchase in 2001. “Horses like Holy Bull just don’t come along that often.”

Like many stallions, Holy Bull never replicated his brilliance as a racehorse, though his runners were solid. His standouts included Eclipse Award champion juvenile Macho Uno, 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, and Grade 1 winners Flashy Bull, Confessional, Bishop Court Hill, and Pohave.

Holy Bull has continued to produce steadily through his sons and daughters; they will ensure that he has a legacy for years to come. Macho Uno, standing at Adena Springs, is the sire of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man – now a fellow Adena stallion whose first foals are yearlings.

Macho Uno is also the sire of multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter Private Zone, Canadian classic winner Harlem Rocker, and Grade 1 winners Macho Again and Wicked Style. His multiple graded stakes-winning son Tommy Macho finished third in Saturday’s Grade1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont.

Holy Bull also quietly became an outstanding broodmare sire, with his best daughter in that regard being Holy Blitz, the dam of Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner and Eclipse Award champion Judy the Beauty. His daughter La Comete produced Grade 2 winner and successful young sire Munnings.

Other standouts produced by Holy Bull’s daughters include Caravaggio, a Group 1-winning juvenile last season; Grade 1 winners Connect and Dr. Vic; and graded stakes winners such as Cairo Prince, Coach Inge, Conveyance, Go Forth North, Going Ballistic, Happy My Way, Higher World, Holy Boss, Holy Lute, My Jen, and Seduire.

Holy Bull recorded his latest stakes winner in that category Sunday, when his granddaughter Holy Helena won the Woodbine Oaks, stamping herself as a contender for next month’s Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

“She has beautiful breeding,” owner and breeder Frank Stronach of Adena Springs said. “The bottom side, it’s a great family.”

A previous version of this article misstated the race in which Tommy Macho finished third on Belmont Day. It was the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, not the Grade 2 Brooklyn Inviatational.