Over this past weekend, there were 3 Derby prep races, with each winner earning 10 points and moving them up the leaderboard. In Florida, Audible moved up in class while winning the Holy Bull Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths. In New York, Avery Island , at 6-5 odds, won the Withers Stakes by 2 lengths over Firenze Fire. This horse appears to have a very nice Derby pedigree, which we’ll examine in this article. Finally, out west, Lombo used his sprinter’s speed to wire the field in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, winning by 2 lengths. Let’s take a look at the three winners and see what Kentucky Derby attributes each one possesses.
Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park
Audible stepped up in class in impressive fashion, winning by 5 1/2 lengths over Free Drop Billy, and placing himself on the radar of all Kentucky Derby observers. The New York bred was a $500,000 purchase by WinStar Farms and China Horse Club in the 2017 Fasig Tipton March 2 year old in training sale. He finished the mile and a sixteenth race with a time of 1:41.92 over a fast track, earning a strong Beyer Speed Figure. of 99. Audible was able to overcome being bumped leaving the gate, and also showed a strong gallop out, which is always nice to see. Here is a video of the race, courtesy of Ron Flatter.
This was Audible’s 3rd win from 4 starts, with $287,720 in earnings. Jockey Javier Castellano likes this horse because of his sharp, tactical speed which allows him to put Audible into position easily. And trainer Todd Pletcher was impressed by how professional he was at Gulfstream leading up to the race. Let’s take a look at his pedigree to see if he is Kentucky Derby material.
Audible is by Into Mischief. He’s been a successful sire so far, so much that his stud fee for 2018 at Spendthrift’s Farm is $100,000. Known to be a strong producer of 2-year-olds, Into Mischief has produced 13 Graded Stakes Winners. His top racers have included Goldenscents, Vyjack, and Practical Joke, who all had distance limitations, but turned out to be superb sprinter/milers. Into Mischief himself excelled at short distances, while running only 6 races in his brief career. The Average Winning Distance of his progeny is 6.68, which shows that Audible could possibly be distance challenged.
Audible’s dam is Blue Devil Bel, a sprinter who took in just over $100,000 on the track. His 4th dam, Classy Cathy, was a 3 time Grade 1 winner who earned over $500,000 in her career. Winning the Alabama Stakes at 3, a race going 1 1/4 miles (same distance as Kentucky Derby), gives a clue towards Audible’s ability to possibly do the same. Audible has some impressive mares going far back into his family lineage, including Kerala (dam of Damascus), Grey Flight (dam of 9 stakes winners), Relaxing (Dam of HOF Easy Goer), and Gold Digger (dam of Mr. Prospector). There is a nice touch of class in the 4th and 5th generations of Audible’s family.
Audible’s dam sire, Gilded Time, was a Champion 2 Year Old. He also spent his racing career sprinting. His best offspring were Gayego (Ancient Title Stakes) and Elloluv (Ashland Stakes). Gilded Time sired earners of over 50 million dollars, but his runners were generally sprinter types. Audible’s 2nd dam sire, Gulch, was the 1988 Eclipse Champion Sprinter and earner of over 3 million dollars. He is the sire of Thunder Gulch, who won the 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Finally, Audible’s 3rd dam sire, Easy Goer, won 4 G1 races at 10 furlongs as a three year old. Overall, Audible’s dam sire line shows that there is hope for his ability to cover the Kentucky Derby distance, although his first 2 dam sires were sprinters.
Audible earned an impressive Beyer winning the Holy Bull, but his pedigree suggests that he may have some issues as the distance of his races lengthen. I did like his gallop out after the race, which shows that maybe he’s a horse who’s natural talents can overcome these distance limitations. Also, his 2nd and 3rd dam sires either gave off or travelled 10 furlongs or further in big races. We will learn a lot more about him in his next race.
Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct
Winner: Avery Island
Avery Island took the G3 Withers Stakes this past Saturday, winning by 2 lengths over Firenze Fire in a 5-horse field, and in the process earning an 87 Beyer Speed Figure. This was his 2nd win in a row at 1 1/8 miles, and now has a 3-1-0 record over 5 starts. While his first 2 wins came while racing on the lead, Avery Island (6/5) rated behind longshot Coltandmississippi in this one, and, when asked, pounced on him midway around the far turn to draw away and win comfortably. He stopped the clock at 1:51:01. Here is the video of the race, courtesy of The New York Racing Association, Inc.
Avery Island now has 14 Derby points, which ties him for fourth place with four other horses. He has $365,335 in earnings. Jockey Joe Bravo feels he has the tools physically, and is excited that the horse is improving with every race. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin felt his horse was push-button in this race, and liked that he finished strong.
While the Withers was just a small field, and no horses have come out of New York and made noise in the Kentucky Derby in some time, Avery Island has a pedigree that is promising for the Kentucky Derby. Let’s look at it.
Avery Island’s sire is Street Sense, one of my favorite horse over the past 15 years. Street Sense was the Eclipse Champion 2 year old male in 2006. In 2007, he captured the Kentucky Derby by sweeping past the field on the rail. He also won the Travers Stakes that same year, also at 10 furlongs. Street Sense is also the sire of another promising three year old this year in G1 Los Als Futurity winner Mckinzie. Street Sense gives a good amount of stamina to his offspring.
Avery Island’s Dam, Kinda Spicy, was 2 for 2 on the track, winning a MSW at Belmont Park going 1 mile. His 2nd dam, Isola Piu Bella, won 4 Group 1 races on her way to becoming the Horse Of The Year and Champion Three Year Old filly in Chile. She also won 3 stakes races a 9 furlongs in the USA, and earned $474,526 in her career. Avery Island’s third dam, Sweet Music, also produced G2 winner El Sombra and stakes winner La Croisette. Looking back at Avery Island’s 5th generation, he has a double cross with Reason to Earn, the dam of Bold Reasoning who sired Seattle Slew. This is a horse who has a strong female family, up front and in back of his female family.
Avery Island’s dam sire is the great AP Indy, the 1992 Horse of the Year and Champion Three Year Old Colt. He earned close to 3 million dollars on the track, but his greatness in the breeding shed is what’s really been his greatest achievement. A Chef de Race sire, he sired 3 HOY, 12 champions, 4 Classic/BC winners, 88 GSW’s, 163 Stake Winners. A sire of sires, his progeny include Pulpit, Bernardini, Malibu Moon, Congrats and Flatter. AP Indy is a known source of stamina, and should aid Avery Island in covering long distances. Avery Island’s 2nd dam sire is Rich Man’s Gold, who wasn’t a strong producer in the breeding shed, but did sire Lido Palace, the 2000 Chilean Horse of the Year and its first Triple Crown winner. His 3rd dam sire is Inchwood, a sire in Chile.
Avery Island appears to want to be near the front end, and this seems to be of benefit in some recent Kentucky Derby’s. Horses coming out of New York haven’t fared well in the Derby for sometime (but from what I’ve read, he’s heading to Florida for his next start), and he’ll have to move up in his Beyer Speed Figures to compete (even though he’s got some time to do this). Avery Island is in the hands of a skilled trainer, and pedigree-wise, it would seem to be that he should relish the Kentucky Derby distance. Avery Island appears to be one to watch moving forward.
Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park
Photo courtesy of Tapinto.net
In the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes this past Saturday, Lombo used his sprinter’s speed to get to the front off the break and never look back, wiring the field for a 2 length win. He earned 10 Derby points, and improved his record to 2 wins and a third from 4 starts. Lombo, at 8/1 odds, stopped the clock at 1:45.41 for 1 1/16 miles, earning an 86 Beyer Speed Figure. He has now earned $129,225.
Here is a video replay of the race.
Video Courtesy of Jessie Guerrero
Lombo broke his maiden going 6 1/2 furlongs on January 20 at the same track, so there’s a chance that he’s quickly putting things together. Lombo was a $75,000 purchase at the OBSMAR 2 year old in training sale. Trainer Mike Pender says he’s big, has high energy, but still is a little unfocused at times. He feels that when he figures it out, he’ll be dangerous. Jockey Flavien Pratt sees Lombo as a very fast horse, but liked the way he relaxed in winning this stakes race. Let’s take a look at Lombo’s pedigree to see how far he may be able to carry his speed.
Lombo is sired by Graydar, and became his 1st black type winner out of his first crop. He’s currently the leading second sire of winners. Graydar’s 1st crop of runners only won at lengths of a mile or shorter, which is a bit concerning. Graydar was a late bloomer, winning 3 graded races at 4. He had speed to burn as well. Many say he is his dads (Unbridled’s Song) closest resemblance.
Lombo’s dam is Burg Berg. She was a stakes winner at a mile, as well as Graded place runner, earning over $250,000 on the track. His 2nd dam, Snowberg, was a stakes winner and multiple Grade 1 placed filly, earning over $450,000 racing over her career. Lombo’s 3rd and 4th dams were also stakes placed, and with 5 Reines-De-Course mares in his 5th female family generation, he has plenty of class coming from this department.
Lombo’s dam sire is Johannesburg, a millionaire who was the 2 year old champion in England, Ireland, France and the U.S. He finished 8th in the 2002 Kentucky Derby. Johannesburg’s stud career has not been very strong, and he hasn’t achieved a ton of commercial success. but he did produce Scat Daddy, who was one of the top sire’s before dying at the early age of 11. Lombo’s 2nd dam sire is Seattle Sleet, who only raced 4 times in his brief career, winning 3 times, with a 3rd place finish in G2 Del Mar Futurity. He sired 8 stakes winners in his career. His 3rd dam sire is the super sire Mr. Prospector, who Lambo shares a 4X cross with throughout his pedigree. Mr. Prospector was a successful sprinter.
Lambo broke his maiden, and won a Graded Stakes race 2 weeks later, with the 2nd race being his first going around 2 turns. This shows me that the connections felt like they were sitting on a live and talented horse. Lambo won the Robert B. Lewis in a relatively easy fashion, so you weren’t able to see how he’d handle adversity. If he shows that he can relax and rate going longer distances, Lombo may be able to be successful with just an ordinary pedigree. He’s another who will need to get faster in order to compete with some of the best 3 year olds from this year’s crop.
I would say that out of the winners of last Saturday’s 3 Derby preps, Audible sticks out in terms of race performance, while Avery Island sports the soundest pedigree for long distances. Please let me know what you think by commenting to my article. I would love to hear from you.Thank you for reading.