‘What Dreams Are Made Of’: McPeek Seeks Another Holy Bull Upset With Mayberry Deputy

Trainer Kenny McPeek is slated to saddle Mayberry Deputy for a start in Saturday’s $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park in a quest for a second straight triumph in the 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds on the road to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) March 28.

The Holy Bull will highlight a 12-race program that will include the $150,000 Swale (G3), the $150,000 Forward Gal (G3), the $100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) and the $100,000 Dania Beach. First-race post time is set for noon.

McPeek saddled Harvey Wallbanger for a 29-1 upset victory in last season’s Holy Bull during the trainer’s Championship Meet return after spending several winters away. Mayberry Deputy is listed at 15-1 on the Holy Bull morning line.

McPeek has now made a long-term commitment to Florida, having opened Summerfield Training Center in Marion County. After stabling horses at Oaklawn Park, Fair Grounds, Payson Park and Ocala over the past several years, McPeek has “consolidated” his stable at his Ocala area facility while also training a division at Gulfstream.

“Dominic Brennan, who I’ve been working with for three decades, is handling the young horses. He’s a consummate horseman. He handled horses like Curlin, Take Charge Lady, Einstein and Repent. I could go on and on,” McPeek said. “He’s handling the young horses and Marty Wolfson is handling the older horses up there. I bounce between Gulfstream and Summerfield.”

When heavy rains caused widespread flooding in Hallandale in December, McPeek was certainly glad to have a dry place to bring Mayberry Deputy prior to his impressive victory at Gulfstream Dec. 28.

“We shipped him out with a group of other horses to Ocala. He had a workout up there and he had to ship him back to run. He handled it without batting an eye. He did everything right,” McPeek said. “Good horses can overcome those type of things. He didn’t miss a beat.”

Mayberry Deputy surged through the stretch to win a mile maiden special weight race going away by 2 ½ lengths. The son of Majesticperfection previously finished second in a six-furlong sprint at Churchill Downs. The winner, Gold Street, went on to win the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds and the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn in his next two starts. Third-place finisher Major Fed won next-time out.

“You have to be optimistic the way he’s been doing,” said McPeek, who saddled Harlan’s Holiday for victory in the 2002 Florida Derby. “This is what dreams are made of – you have a good 3-year-old colt who is doing good at the right time.”

McPeek is confident that Majestic Deputy, who will be ridden by Julien Leparoux, will handle two turns for the first time Saturday.

“I think he’ll relish it. He’s been begging for it,” he said. “I would have liked to have run him two turns sooner.”

On Sunday, Harvey Wallbanger will return to action at Gulfstream in the Race 10 feature, a 1 1/8-mile optional claiming allowance.

The post ‘What Dreams Are Made Of’: McPeek Seeks Another Holy Bull Upset With Mayberry Deputy appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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