Audible wins Florida Derby to clinch Kentucky Derby spot

Horse Racing

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Audible ran away within the stretch to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby on Saturday, additional cementing himself as a severe contender for the Kentucky Derby.

An eight-week layoff was no downside for Audible, who will take a four-race win streak into the Triple Crown marketing campaign that begins Might 5 at Churchill Downs. The Eight-5 favourite completed the 1 1/Eight miles at Gulfstream Park in 1:49.48. It was the fifth Florida Derby win for each jockey John Velazquez and coach Todd Pletcher.

Now, barring some type of downside, it is off to Churchill Downs.

“If he comes out of it well, that’s our goal,” Pletcher stated.

Latest historical past says that Audible may have an amazing likelihood on the Kentucky Derby. The previous two Florida Derby winners — All the time Dreaming final yr and Nyquist in 2016 — went on to win the Run for the Roses.

Hofburg was second, and Mississippi was third. Catholic Boy, the second selection within the betting, was fourth.

“I think we’re all pleased,” stated Invoice Mott, Hofburg’s coach. “Naturally, winning would have been the only thing that would have been better, but he ran well, and he galloped out well.”

The win gave Audible 100 factors within the Kentucky Derby standings, way over sufficient to clinch his spot within the subject. Hofburg is nearly definitely assured a spot as properly.

It was an enormous day for Audible, and possibly even a much bigger day for Gulfstream Park, which had a report single-day deal with of $49,909,070. That was $Eight million greater than every other day in Gulfstream historical past, and practically $18 million greater than Florida Derby day a yr in the past.

“A truly special day,” Gulfstream Park common supervisor Invoice Badgett stated.

Guarantees Fulfilled, the Fountain of Youth winner at Gulfstream earlier this month, went proper to the lead out of the gate, as did Strike Energy. They set a blazing early fraction, whereas the opposite seven starters merely sat again and waited for the preliminary pace to fade.

Audible waited outdoors a cluster of 4 horses and started his huge transfer close to the far flip. By the point they had been within the last straightaway, it was over.

“I was a little worried when they turned up the backside because we got into the first turn in exactly the position we wanted to get into,” Pletcher stated. “And then he kind of fell back a little bit, and I was a little bit worried because that’s normally not Johnny’s style to let one kind of drop back that far. But once he found his rhythm on the back side, I felt much better.”

Audible returned $5.20, $four and $three.

“I used him a little too much going into the first turn, but by the time I got to the backstretch, I had to give him a little break where he got to be comfortable again, and then he started rolling,” Velazquez said. “I used to be fairly glad after that.”

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