Albaugh Family Stables' Breeders' Futurity (Grade I) winner Free Drop Billy breezed five furlongs in :59.60 Monday morning at Churchill Downs as the colt prepares for a possible start in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (GI).
During the exclusive training session from 7:30-7:40 a.m. EDT for horses preparing to start in the 1 ½-mile test, Free Drop Billy began his breeze at the half-mile pole with regular exercise rider Juan Segundo aboard through splits of :12.60, :23.80, :35.60 and :47 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12, seven furlongs in 1:25.20 and completing one mile in 1:39.80, according to Churchill Downs' clocker John Nichols.
“Right now we're leaning towards running,” trainer Dale Romans said. “We'll see how he comes out of the work Tuesday and talk with the owners. We'll make a final call in the next couple days.”
Free Drop Billy, who finished 16th in the May 5 Kentucky Derby (GI), is by Union Rags out of the mare Trensa, who produced multiple Group I winner Hawkbill.
“(Hawkbill) won at 1 ½ miles, so I think Free Drop Billy could run all day,” Romans said. “Horses in the Belmont will probably only run 1 ½ miles this one time so it's unique for everyone involved. Free Drop Billy certainly has the pedigree to run that distance.”
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