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Tiz The Bomb faces eight in Holy Bull

Tiz The Bomb faces eight in Holy Bull.

Tiz The Bomb will face eight rivals as he puts his dirt and Kentucky Derby credentials to the test in the Grade Three Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Saturday.

The Phoenix Thoroughbreds owned colt was one of the turf stars in 2021. He won both the Kentucky Downs Mile Stakes and Grade Three Bourbon Stakes (at Keeneland) before finishing the season with a fine runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Despite making his name on the grass, connections have always been confident he will be effective when switching surfaces, having won his maiden by over 14 lengths on dirt at Ellis Park.

Basking in glory. Tiz The Bomb after his thrilling Juvenile Mile Stakes win at Kentucky Downs // Credit: Kentucky Downs

“There are limited opportunities for a three-year-old grass horse in North America,” said Trainer Kenny McPeek. “He’s a really talented horse and we don’t want to lock him in as strictly a grass horse. There’s no sense pigeonholing him as a grass horse. Even last year, we could have made a case for keeping him on dirt, but I chose to keep him separated from some of my other colts. At this stage, we’re going to allow him to play on the dirt.”

McPeek had hoped to test the colt on at the highest level on dirt when entering him in the G1 Jockey Club Stakes in late November at Churchill Downs. That plan was scuppered when the son of Hit It A Bomb developed a minor skin infection on race day.

Tiz The Bomb is priced at 6/1 on the morning line and will have his regular big race jockey Brian Hernandez on board when breaking from gate six on Saturday.