Pletcher: Hot Pegasus Pace Will Play To Audible’s Advantage

by | 01.24.2019 | 1:00pm
Audible came from off the pace to win the 2018 Florida Derby by three lengths

Todd Pletcher-trained Audible's stock in Saturday's $9-million Pegasus World Cup (G1)  plunged when the 4-year-old colt was upset at 1-10 odds in his Gulfstream Park prep for the 1 1/8-mile event for older horses. The New York-bred son of Into Mischief lost the Dec. 15 Harlan's Holiday (G3) by a half-length, faltering late after closing with a five-wide run from off the pace over a sloppy track.

The Pegasus offers Audible an opportunity to redeem himself on the same track over which he rallied to win three lengths in the $1-million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 31 at 1 1/8 miles. Pletcher is hopeful that the Pegasus will set up as nicely for his 10-1 morning-line shot as it did in Gulfstream's signature race for 3-year-olds.

“It looks like a race should have a legitimate pace, and I think Audible should appreciate that. The Florida Derby last year had a hot contested pace and he ran very well in that situation,” said Pletcher, whose trainee went on to finish a troubled third in the Kentucky Derby. “The Kentucky Derby had a smart pace as well. He's the kind of horse that likes to run in a race where he can settle and later on make a run into solid fractions.”

Flavien Prat takes over for Javier Castellano, who opted to ride Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light Saturday.

The Pegasus will be the last race in the careers of City of Light and Accelerate, who will both stand at stud this year at Lane's End in Versailles, Ky., but it will provide others in the field of 12 a lucrative opportunity to start off the 2019 racing season.

“I think because of the positioning of the Pegasus it allows two horses this year like City of Light and Accelerate, who are going to stud, to have a chance to run at a significant purse. It's also a good starting point if you're planning to run all year. There's good spacing between the Pegasus and the Dubai World Cup,” Pletcher said. “More than anything, it gives Gulfstream that marquee race. It's always had the Florida Derby and the Donn, but this is kind of a must-see race.”

Audible races for the partnership of WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners.

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