The 2018 Florida Derby is going to be a serious grinder that is split in to two very clear tiers. Audible enters as a strong 9/5 favorite after his resounding Holy Bull victory, but he has plenty of company at the top of the betting board. Todd Pletcher, who trains Audible, knows that his star colt is far from a sure thing but he remains confident given how he came out of his last race.
Pletcher illuminated that the Holy Bull,”wasn’t what you would describe as your sort of cupcake trip. He was always sort of in between horses, surrounded by horses, under pressure throughout the race, and he was able to maintain that position and then still deliver that late kick. And I thought for a relatively inexperienced horse, he handled all that with a lot of maturity and poise. And you know that, to me, sort of established his class.” Horses that overcome obstacles are hard to come by at this age because it takes a lot for them to be tested. “You just don’t see too many horses that early in their career sort of overcome,” Pletcher continued. “Not that he had a bad trip, but it was a trip you generally think a more seasoned horse would need.”
Simply put, it’s hard to bet against Audible at this point in the game. He’s looked too good, too resilient and too smart to talk yourself out of. All we’re hoping for is that he’s maturing at a strong rate.
Joining Audible near the top of the 2018 Florida Derby board is Promises Fulfilled, who was last out winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes. The Shackleford colt outlasted Strike Power, a 4/1 choice in this race who continues to receive high praise from his inner circles. Catholic Boy is also getting respect with 7/2 odds of his own after finishing second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes.
Bridging the gap to the longshots is Mississippi, a noted speedster who likely doesn’t have the tank to go the full way at a high pace. Hofburg, Storm Runner, Tip Sheet and Millionaire Runner round out the field.
The 2018 Florida Derby will be televised live on NBC Sports Network with coverage beginning at 6pm ET.
2018 Florida Derby – Saturday, March 31st at Gulfstream Park
1 1/8th Miles – 3 Year Olds – $1,000,000
|1||Strike Power (KY)||Luis Saez||122||Mark A. Hennig||4/1|
|2||Millionaire Runner (KY)||Jose A. Batista||122||Jaime Mejia||50/1|
|3||Tip Sheet (FL)||Edgard J. Zayas||122||Stanley I. Gold||30/1|
|4||Promises Fulfilled (KY)||Robby Albarado||122||Dale L. Romans||3/1|
|5||Storm Runner (KY)||Tyler Gaffalione||122||Dale L. Romans||20/1|
|6||Catholic Boy (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||122||Jonathan Thomas||7/2|
|7||Hofburg (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||122||William I. Mott||20/1|
|8||Audible (NY)||John R. Velazquez||122||Todd A. Pletcher||9/5|
|9||Mississippi (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||122||Mark E. Casse||12/1|