Trainer Todd Pletcher called an Audible with his Derby hopeful, and the New York-bred son of Into Mischief delivered impressively Saturday, winning the $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream by 5 ½ lengths in his stakes debut.
“We actually brought him down (to Florida) a little bit later because we were entered in the New York-bred stakes, and then all the bad weather hit in New York…and we came up with a different strategy.” Pletcher said.
Audible earned 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, going off as the 3-1 co-second choice in the Holy Bull. He covered 1 1⁄16 miles in 1:41.92 and paid $8.40 to win. Free Drop Billy was 2nd, and more than seven lengths in front of 3rd place finisher Tiz Mischief. Both those colts are trained by Dale Romans. Race favorite Enticed finished fourth.
“He really kicked,” Pletcher said. “Javier (Castellano) said he kept him to task because he was kind of looking around a little bit and saw the tire marks and he didn’t want him to make a mistake. He really accelerated. The final time was quite good.”
Audible has now won three straight starts and could make it four-in-a-row in the March 10 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. The winner of that race receives 50 Derby points and earns a spot in the Run for the Roses May 5.
Castellano can’t wait to test Audible at a little longer distance, and the Florida Derby March 31 is another race to watch for Pletcher’s Audible, as his 3-year-old last year Always Dreaming won the Florida Derby on his way to capturing the Kentucky Derby.
“Today he was sharp and had tactical speed in the race,” Castellano said. “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.”
|2||Free Drop Billy 3-1||$4.40||$3.00|
|7||Tiz Mischief 3-1||$3.00|
|Super High Five||4/2/7/1/8||$348.80|