Audible stars at Gulfstream

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

February 5th, 2018

Saturday’s $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) featured a fine field of Kentucky Derby hopefuls making their respective 2018 debuts and while I am rarely quick to rush to judgment, I think AUDIBLE has star written all over him.

Todd Pletcher pupil entered the Holy Bull with an allowance win over just a trio of foes in an off-the-turf outing at Aqueduct in December. While he looked the part in that dominant tally, the expensive son of Into Mischief had a lot to prove to me. And Audible did just that at Gulfstream Park.

Tracking between runners from the early going while being kept interested by Javier Castellano, the $500,000 juvenile turned for home with a stern test from Grade 1 hero Free Drop Billy but dismissed that foe and all others in the matter of a few jumps. Audible simply exploded and powered home to a facile win, and his stride is something to watch.

The New York-bred colt was more than five lengths ahead of Free Drop Billy and more than 13 lengths clear of the rest in a field with strong two-year-old class. His final time of 1:41 4/5 for the 1 1/16 miles on Saturday was very good. And his final five-sixteenths in a turf-like :29 4/5 was spectacular, generating a mammoth 112 BRIS Late Pace figure despite switching to his left lead a few jumps from the wire. 

We’ve been down this road before with Pletcher developing a monster three-year-old in South Florida – Audible looks to be the next in line.

STRIKE POWER ran his mark to an unbeaten two-for-two with a front-running score in the Swale (G2) earlier on the card. Mark Hennig-trained son of Speightstown broke sharply from the outside post in the six-horse field and never gave way, finishing 2 ¾ lengths clear under the wire.

Chestnut colt has never been headed from a pair of lifetime tries, though I am still up in the air about him being a Triple Crown type at this stage of his development. Courtlandt Farm homebred is surely a talent but Strike Power never switched leads in the stretch in the Swale and I would like to see more before donning him to be in the class of Audible et al.

In a maiden special weight contest in Race 8, MACHISMO turned heads with a stylish graduating run beneath Albin Jiminez. More Than Ready colt recorded a superb 11 ½-length tally and earned a 99 BRIS Speed figure making his second start of 2018.

Machismo drew off like a stakes horse through the lane of the 6 ½-furlong sprint and could be a good one for Anthony Quartarolo. After recording a pair of unplaced finishes for Pletcher at Saratoga last summer, he was purchased for $140,000 at the Keeneland November sale by Loooch Racing Stables and Ashley Quantarolo and looks like a bargain purchase after this performance. These Saturday maiden races at Gulfstream often bring out some of the top prospects from major barns, so this tally shouldn’t be taken lightly. Tab Machismo to be stakes bound in his return, likely staying at one turn.