Sunday, April 1, 2018

Audible Wins Florida Derby, Earns Kentucky Derby Spot

Audible took the lead coming out of the final turn and went on to beat Hofburg by three lengths on Saturday in the $1 million Florida Derby (Grade 1) at Gulfstream Park.

The win earned Audible 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points and assures him a spot in that 1 ¼ mile stakes that will be run May 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Mississippi finished third on Saturday, 7  ¾ lengths behind Hofburg. It was another 11/4 lengths  back to Catholic Boy, who finished fourth in the nine-horse field.

Audible, the 8-5  favorite, won the 1 1/8 mile dirt stakes in 1:49.48 on the track listed as fast. John Velazquez rode Audible for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The win was the fourth in five career starts for Audible, a New York-bred son of Into Mischief.

In his race prior to the Florida Derby, he won the Holy Bull Stakes (Grade 2) at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream on 
Feb. 3.

Audible is owned by a partnership of China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar  Farm.

The Florida Derby was a final round “Road to the Kentucky Derby” qualifying race. Points were awarded on a 100-40-20-10 basis to the first through fourth place finishers.  The Holy Bull was a first-round race, and Audible earned ten points.

With five races left for Kentucky Derby qualifying, it does not appear possible for enough horses to surpass 110 points and knock Audible out of one of the 20 spots in the Kentucky Derby (18 spots this year are reserved for horses that have run in prep races in the United States).

Hofburg has 40 qualifying points and could be
 “on the bubble” for making the Kentucky Derby field.

Catholic Boy has 24 points and Mississippi has 20. Both likely will have to run in another qualifying race and finish third or better to make the Kentucky Derby field.

--Jim Freer

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