Audible wins the Holy Bull Stakes
Audible (Coglianese Photos)

Holy Bull Stakes Winner Audible

by Alastair Bull

Audible’s arrival on the 2018 Kentucky Derby trail was heard loud and clear in the Holy Bull Stakes, as he dashed away from a good field.

The big question, pedigree-wise, is what kind of noise he can make over 1 ¼ miles.

Bred by Oak Bluff Stables, Audible was a $175,000 yearling purchase at the Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale in August 2016. He was up for sale again at the Fasig-Tipton March sale of 2-year-olds in training, where he was snapped up for $500,000 by WinStar Farm and China Horse Club, who now race him along with SF Racing from the Todd Pletcher barn.

Beaten into third on debut at Belmont Park in September, Audible then broke his maiden over a mile at Aqueduct Nov. 15 before winning an allowance on the same track by 9 ¾ lengths Dec. 6.

The Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park Feb. 3 was his first stakes race, but he dashed right away from Free Drop Billy, Tiz Mischief, and Enticed to win by 5 ½ lengths.

Audible is by Into Mischief, the Hollywood Futurity winner who has progressed incredibly well at Spendthrift Farm. He began his stallion career in 2009 at $12,500, but he has sired a stream of top-class horses and this year stands at $100,000. Into Mischief was the champion sire of 2-year-olds in 2016 and champion sire of 3-year-olds in 2017.

Into Mischief is one of more than 90 stakes winners by Harlan’s Holiday, who won up to nine furlongs and finished second in the 1 ¼-mile Dubai World Cup (G1). Into Mischief is one of three grade one winners out of the outstanding broodmare Leslie’s Lady, the others being Beholder and Mendelssohn.

As good as Into Mischief has been as a sire, he has yet to sire a horse that’s won stakes races at more than nine furlongs – perhaps not surprising given that he himself was best up to a mile. So to stay 1 ¼ miles on Derby Day, Audible may need some pedigree help from his distaff line.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of help there. Audible’s dam Blue Devil Bel (Gilded Time) won seven times, but none were past six furlongs. Her dam Fahamore (Gulch) produced Akilina, whose two stakes-winning progeny, Rieno Tesoro and Governor Malibu, didn’t win past nine furlongs.

His fourth dam Classy Cathy, however, was good enough to win the 1 ¼-mile Alabama Stakes (G1), and she produced Placerville, who beat Galileo’s outstanding dam Urban Sea to win the 1 ¼-mile Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot and later became the seven-time champion sire of India.

Despite Classy Cathy’s record, Audible’s pedigree doesn’t scream out 1 ¼ miles. However, pedigrees have been proven wrong before, and punters should watch Audible’s remaining races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby to determine if they think he can stay the Derby trip.