Audible (inside) works in company with You're to Blame April 13 at Palm Beach Downs

Audible (inside) works in company with You're to Blame April 13 at Palm Beach Downs

Dana Wimpfheimer

Audible, Noble Indy Work Toward Kentucky Derby

Todd Pletcher-trained duo tuned up Friday morning at Palm Beach Downs.

Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) winner Audible continued his preparations for the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) when he worked a half-mile in a bullet :48.75 April 13 at Palm Beach Downs.

Owned by China Horse Club, Starlight Racing, Head of Plains Partners, and WinStar Farm, Audible galloped out in 1:02.22 while working alongside grade 3-placed You're to Blame. It was Audible's first work for trainer Todd Pletcher since his March 31 Florida Derby victory.

"For him, I thought it was outstanding," Pletcher said. "He's not always an overzealous work horse, but today he seemed on his game and focused. I thought he did very well. He's coming back in five weeks off a 1 1/8-mile race, so I think we're just trying to have him peak on the day and keep him fit without overdoing it. I thought this morning was an important step in that direction. I know sometimes he doesn't work as well as others, but leading up to this race you'd like all three of his works to be good—and the first one was excellent."

About 30 minutes before Audible hit the track, Pletcher watched his Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Noble Indy work five furlongs in 1:01 with blinkers. Noble Indy, owned by WinStar Farm and Repole Stable, broke his maiden at Gulfstream Dec. 3 before winning an allowance/optional claimer over the track on Jan. 11.

"It was a good, solid five-eighths," Pletcher said. "He's never been a horse that's a fantastic gallop-out horse, but I think today was solid."

Pletcher added the blinkers to "keep him a little more in tune, a little more focused."

Pletcher has four horses preparing for the Kentucky Derby. Along with Audible and Noble Indy, he trains Vino Rosso, who won the Wood Memorial Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G2) last weekend, and undefeated Rebel Stakes (G2) winner Magnum Moon, who runs April 14 in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Pletcher plans to work Audible, Noble Indy, and Vino Rosso next weekend before shipping to Kentucky April 23.

"To me, it's always really key who handles the Churchill surface," Pletcher said "It can be pretty quirky, so I think that final breeze at Churchill will give us a big clue as to who likes it. Hopefully, they all do. That's always one of my concerns, because you see some horses who get there and don't get a grip of that track. So the final work there will be something we're looking forward to seeing.

"The good thing about the group of horses we have going is they have run over all kinds of dirt surfaces ... none of them appear to be horses that need a certain surface in order to be successful."

Pletcher reported Monday that jockey John Velazquez has the call on Vino Rosso, and Javier Castellano will ride Audible in the Kentucky Derby. Noble Indy's rider has yet to be confirmed. In turn, trainer Mick Ruis confirmed Tuesday that three-time Kentucky Derby-winning rider Victor Espinoza will take the reins on Bolt d'Oro after Castellano opted for Audible.

Pletcher's former mentor, Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, had his Kentucky Derby contender on the Friday worktab at Churchill Downs

Bravazo, winner of the Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford (G2), breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 on the Louisville track. The colt worked through splits of :12 4/5, :24 4/5, and :37 before galloping out to six furlongs in 1:16 2/5, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

"It was a really good maintenance work," Lukas said. "He was getting over the ground well, and we will do more with him in his next two works."

Owned and bred by Calumet Farm, Bravazo broke his maiden at Churchill in his second career start Sept. 16 by 4 3/4 lengths. 

Most recently, the Awesome Again  colt finished a troubled eighth in the Louisiana Derby.

Through eight starts, Bravazo has been ridden by Angel Arroyo, Jon Court, Gary Stevens and the injured Miguel Mena. As of Friday morning, the colt did not have a rider confirmed for the Kentucky Derby. "But we're getting really close," Lukas said.