Led by Audible, Promises Fulfilled
Holy Bull winner Audible and Fountain of Youth victor Promises Fulfilled are prominent among 22 horses nominated to the 67th running of the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby.
The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby anchors a March 31 program that includes seven stakes, five graded, worth $2.3 million in purses on the penultimate day of the 2017-2018 Championship Meet.
Audible enters the Florida Derby off three consecutive victories by a combined 17 lengths, the most recent being a 5 1/2-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull on Feb. 3 at Gulfstream, his first try around two turns.
The colt is one of four nominees trained by Todd Pletcher, Gulfstream’s 14-time defending meet champion who has won the Florida Derby a record four times with Always Dreaming (2017), Materiality (2015), Constitution (2014) and Scat Daddy (2007).
Pletcher is also represented by recent Gulfstream allowance winner National Flag; Noble Indy, third in the Risen Star on Feb. 17; and Maraud, neck winner of the Palm Beach Stakes on Gulfstream’s turf on March 3.
Promises Fulfilled made his sophomore debut in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, a 2 1/4-length front-running score in his first start following a third-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club last November – the only loss in four tries.
Promises Fulfilled is trained by Dale Romans, seeking his first Florida Derby victory. Romans also nominated King Zachary, a 7 3/4-length maiden winner going 1 1/16 mile on March 18 at Gulfstream; and Storm Runner, seventh in the Fountain of Youth in his stakes debut off a hard-fought allowance triumph on Feb. 4 at Gulfstream.
Catholic Boy, winner of the Remsen on dirt and With Anticipation on turf last year, is nominated to the Florida Derby after being beaten a half-length as the favorite in the Sam F. Davis on Feb. 10 at Tampa Bay Downs, his sophomore debut.
Trainer Mark Hennig nominated Strike Power, a decisive second in the Fountain of Youth in his first two-turn test. The son of champion sprinter Speighstown had won each of his first two starts, both at Gulfstream, capped by the seven-furlong Swale on Feb. 3.
Also among Florida Derby nominees are Ayacara, Beautiful Shot, Machismo; Mississippi and Speed Franco.
Edited Gulfstream Park release