Some may be wondering just when Thoroughbred training mastermind Dale Romans became a meteorologist. Well, it might have been about last September when a Cyclone came into his barn.
Cyclone Mischief is a talented three-year-old colt that has perked some ears since making his track debut last fall. After finishing a tiring third in his debut in a one-mile race on September 16, 2022, this son of Into Mischief turned in a superb performance at Keeneland in his second start as he won at a mile and a sixteenth by a widening 5 ¼ lengths. Making his next start in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, Romans charge finished seventh but was beaten only about 2 ½ lengths.
“I was really surprised he didn’t win the Jockey Club after the way he ran at Keeneland,” says Romans. “Even though he finished seventh, he still was on the lead at the top of the stretch. He just couldn’t hold on.”
Romans faith in his runner was restored in his three-year-old debut on January 8. Looking like an F4 tornado, Cyclone Mischief tore down the stretch at Gulfstream Park and won a one-mile allowance race by a widening 5 ¾ lengths.
“The last race at Gulfstream really showcased his abilities”, says the veteran conditioner with over 1,800 training wins. “He showed us all what he can do. It was a very impressive effort for sure.”
No stranger to success and the big stages of the sport, this Louisville native has enjoyed many monumental wins since taking out his training license back in 1987. One that has eluded him to this point, however, is the Kentucky Derby. Having sent eleven horses to post on the first Saturday in May, Romans knows what it takes to get there. Currently second all-time in training wins beneath the Twin Spires, Romans hopes his Cyclone can be upgraded to a bigger storm as the calendar turns toward May.
The next Cyclone sighting will be on February 4 at Gulfstream Park in the Holy Bull Stakes. Run at a mile and a sixteenth, this grade 3 race is a major stepping stone towards the Florida Derby and beyond. Seven other talented runners will be lining up to run at glory.
“The Holy Bull is going to be a good challenge”, says Romans. “It’s a good field and we need to be ready.”
Never afraid to run his horses when they are right, Romans eagerly awaits the opportunity to test the strength of this $450,000 yearling purchase. Early indications has been this storm is gaining strength and starting to spin up.
“He’s a very rugged horse that just takes everything we throw at him”, says Romans. “He seems to get better with every work and looks like a really good one. He’s the kind of horse that makes you want to get up every morning.”
The Holy Bull is carded as race 12 on the Gulfstream Park program with an expected post time of 4:43 central time.