HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Audible gave a deafening performance on Saturday, blasting away down the stretch to trounce his rivals in the Grade 2, $350,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
After breaking from post 4 under Javier Castellano, Audible raced three-wide just off the pace into the first turn while Master Manipulator set early fractions of :23.59 and :47.14 through the first 1/2-mile. Edging up while heading into the far turn, Audible took command at the 3/8-pole while Free Drop Billy ran along his outside. Hitting the top of the stretch, however, Audible decided that he’d had enough and quickly kicked clear, crossing first by 5 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:41.92 for the 1 1/16-mile main track event.
“It’s only a mile and 1/16 today, but the way he galloped out was amazing,” Castellano said. “I look forward to the next race.”
Free Drop Billy held on to finish much the best of the rest, taking second by 7 3/4 lengths over stablemate Tiz Mischief. The favored Enticed never made a threatening bid for the lead and took fourth. Pony Up was a head past Tip Sheet at the wire, while Bandito, Master Manipulator, and Aequor completed the order of finish. Hollywood Star and Mississippi were scratched.
The Holy Bull is part of the Road to the 2018 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Audible earned 10 points for the win, with Free Drop Billy receiving 4 for second, Tiz Mischief 2 for third, and Enticed 1 for fourth.
Audible’s win was his third straight at a mile or more since finishing third on debut over 6 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park on September 27. The son of Into Mischief, owned by a partnership between WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and SF Racing Group, improved his record to 4-3-0-1 with earnings of $287,720.
“We felt like he wanted more ground, and he kind of showed that in his first race when he didn’t get away real quickly and retreated when the dirt hit him in the face and then rallied with a pretty strong effort,” Pletcher said. “Then he came back and won two pretty impressive races after that, so we felt like more distance was definitely what he was looking for.”
Audible returned $8.40 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.20 to show. Free Drop Billy brought back $4.40 to place and $3 to show, while Tiz Mischief paid $3 to show.