Audible Impressive 5-Length Winner in Derby Prep Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream
Last years’ Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher has called an Audible. Making his stakes debut following a pair of year-end victories at Aqueduct, Audible made a change of course look easy for his trainer winning the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream by more than 5 lengths Saturday.
“We actually brought him down (to Florida) a little bit later because we were entered in the New York-bred stake, and then all the bad weather hit in New York and it got delayed and carried over,” Pletcher said. “Maybe it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The original plan was to run him in the New York-bred stake and then bring him down, but when all the bad weather hit we came up with a different strategy and it seemed to work out well today.
“He shipped in great and trained really well when he got here, so it kind of made it an easy decision that this was an easy race to target.”
Audible, a rising star son of Into Mischief, tracked the early longshot leaders before the four favorites took over. What was expected to be rematch of Tiz Mischief (3-1) and Enticed (9-5) turned into a two horse race at the top of the stretch between Audible (3-1) and Free Drop Billy (3-1). But jockey Javier Castellano began asking Audible for a sustained run approaching the final turn as Free Drop Billy approached on his outside.
Audible easily shook of his rival entering the lane and moved away to a commanding lead to win by 5 ½ lengths in a final time of 1:41.92 over a fast track. Audible returned $8.40, $4.40 and $3.20 across the board.
“I love the way he did it today, compared to our last race, because his last race he was still developing and a bit laid back,” Castellano said of his mount. “I really had to ride him last time out. … Today he was sharp and had tactical speed in the race and we could move and he’d give me everything I asked of him. I love these kinds of horses … where you can move quick and can put them in a good position.
“It’s only a mile and sixteenth today, but the way he galloped out was amazing. I look forward to the next race.”
Free Drop Billy was a clear second-best under Luis Saez, finishing 7 3/4-lengths in front of Dale Romans-trained stablemate Tiz Mischief in third. Enticed had no response after a ground-saving trip under Joel Rosario and ended up fourth.
Pletcher has at least one Kentucky Derby horse, and it’s Audible. He picked up 10 Derby points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, and will likely make his next run for more points in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream March 3. An outside chance he’ll go back to Aqueduct for the 1 Mile Gotham March 10, but a win or place in either Championship Series race (50 or 20 points) will likely secure his spot in the starting gate the first Saturday in May with a potential run in the Florida Derby also available for New York-bred Audible.