Prep race winners Avery Island, Audible, and Lombo all made noticeable gains on the Kentucky Derby (G1) leaderboard this past weekend, while Firenze Fire missed out on the chance to temporarily move into first place.
Avery Island (#7, 14 points), in taking the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct on Saturday, moved one point ahead of stablemate Enticed (#9, 13), who finished fourth in the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream later in the afternoon. The latter was captured by leaderboard newcomer Audible (#12, 10) in convincing style, while fellow newbie Lombo (#14, 10) led his rivals on a merry chase in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita.
Firenze Fire (#2, 24), who had already won the Champagne (G1) and Jerome, was looking for his third prep win in the nine-furlong Withers, but had to settle for second. While he equaled champion Good Magic's total of 24 points, his non-restricted stakes earnings remain less than half that earned by the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner.
By virtue of their placements in the Holy Bull, the Dale Romans-trained Free Drop Billy (#5, 14) and Tiz Mischief (#16, 6-1) made modest gains on the board, earning four and two points, respectively.
The coming weekend is a relatively quiet one for Kentucky Derby preps, with only the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on the schedule. Among those expected to appear are Remsen (G2) hero Catholic Boy (#11, 10) and Hollywood Star (#18, 4), who was scratched from the Holy Bull.
The following week's preps include the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds, El
Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, and the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn, as
well as the Hyacinth at Tokyo, which is part of the Japan Road to the Kentucky
(Adam Coglianese Photography)