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Free Drop Billy

Free Drop Billy winning the Breeders' Futurity Stakes (Coady Photo/Keeneland)

Free Drop Billy Career Statistics    

Last Update: June 2018                                                                                         

Starts: 9
Win: 2
Place: 3
Show: 2
Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings: $625,220

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables
Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Pedigree: Union Rags – Trensa, by Giant’s Causeway
Recent Finish: 16th, Kentucky Derby, G1 (5/5/18)
Notable Wins: Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1)

Free Drop Billy Horse Profile

Free Drop Billy has a record of 2-3-2 in nine starts which includes eight graded stakes races and three in-the-money finishes in 2018. However, his last race was his worst when finishing 16th in the Kentucky Derby, and his inclusion in the Belmont Stakes will be up to a “gut instinct” by his trainer Dale Romans. Free Drop Billy does have stamina in his pedigree as the son of Union Rags and his dam is by Giant’s Causeway. But Free Drop Billy may instead run in the Belmont Derby Invitational on the turf July 7, as Romans believes his colt has a future running on the turf. Free Drop Billy is not expected to challenge the top runners in the June 9 Belmont Stakes, but a definitive announcement on his inclusion should come the week of the final jewel on the Triple Crown trail.   

Free Drop Billy Entering Into the Kentucky Derby

Free Drop Billy has a strong pedigree and is an intriguing long shot in the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

The Union Rags colt has finished in the money in six of seven stakes starts with one victory in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity when he came off the pace to win by 4 lengths over Bravazo and well clear of Lone Sailor (3rd), both Derby runners. His 91 BRIS Speed Rating in that race was not special, but he did record a 98 BRIS in the Hopeful (G1) last year and a career-best 99 BRIS when he finished a distant 2nd to top Derby contender Audible in the Holy Bull (G2) in February.

Free Drop Billy is a middle of the pack runner who likes to make a late run. He won his maiden at Churchill Downs in June, 2017 and has competed in nothing but graded stakes since. His only finish out of the money was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar when he tired and never fired finishing ninth.       

In his three sophomore starts in 2018, Free Drop Billy has been beaten by top Derby contenders Good Magic, Enticed and Audible. While his speed has not matched-up to those runners, he’s still a very well-bred runner definitely has the required stamina to go a Classic distance and should not be tossed based solely on the recent results. 

Key Speed Figures and Stats for Free Drop Billy

  • Final 3/8 mile time in the Blue Grass Stakes :38.67 seconds
  • Best BRIS Speed and Class Rating of 99 in Holy Bull Stakes
  • Race favorite in 4-or-7 grades stakes starts
  • 5 furlong bullet best of 52 at Churchill Downs on April 21

Trainer Dale Romans is winless in eight Derby starts with a best of 3rd on two occasions, and jockey Robby Albarado has not won with 14 Derby mounts with a best of 2nd in 2013.   

Free Drop Billy was bothered badly in the Blue Grass as he made his run and had to alter course before flattening out late in the drive. The Keeneland track that day favored deep closers, so there is the track bias and late stretch run issues to consider when evaluating speed and closing times. His final 3/8 time of :38.67 does not warrant Derby-winning support, but Free Drop Billy has been the race favorite in four of his stakes starts and never more than 8-1 on the betting board.

Going the Derby distance of 1 ¼ miles is a different experience for all entrants making their Run for the Roses. Free Drop Billy has the experience, stamina and racing competition to be considered as a big long shot in the Derby. His speed will be the question, but a proper race setup and pace with room to run turning for home could produce a long shot surprise like the 2017 runner-up and 3rd place finisher were able to provide. Take a closer look at Free Drop Billy before just tossing him as a Derby long shot, and note his 5 furlong bullet work best of 52 on April 21 at Churchill Downs. Intriguing long shot that could produce a big exotic payoff.

Learn more about Free Drop Billy

BULL: Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Free Drop Billy

BRISNET: Free Drop Billy

Kentucky Derby Profile: Free Drop Billy

Watch Free Drop Billy's workout videos