Winslow Homer split horses down the stretch to win the $150,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park by three-quarters of a length on Saturday.
Winslow Homer drove away from eight others under jockey Ramon Dominguez to beat favored Jackson Bend. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to William's Kitten. Winslow Homer covered the mile in 1:35.97 and paid $9.60, $4.60 and $3.60.
Jackson Bend returned $3.40 and $2.60, while William's Kitten paid $4.40.
Dominguez guided Winslow Homer just behind the leaders at the halfway point and was fourth by the time Homeboykris and Thank U Philippe entered the stretch on the lead.
With Jackson Bend closing from the outside and drawing even with the leaders, Dominguez drove Winslow Homer between Homeboykris and Thank U Philippe to take the lead at the eighth pole and hold off Jackson Bend to get a win that could help earn the gray colt a spot in the Kentucky Derby.
"It's awful early, but we kept our place in line," trainer Anthony Dutrow said. "One would have to feel good about today's performance. He's bred to get a distance, he loves two turns."
Dutrow said Winslow Homer, who was purchased at auction two years ago by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm for $310,000, would next run the Feb. 20 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.
"We didn't think we'd win," Porter said. "We just wanted to run a good race. A one-turn mile is not his best distance so we were just hoping to get a good race out of him."
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