(Release from Keeneland Race Course)
In the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, favored Free Drop Billy took command at the head of the stretch and drew off to post a four-length victory over Bravazo and give trainer Dale Romans a fourth victory in the race and a second for the Albaugh Family Stables that won in 2015 with Brody’s Cause.
With the victory, Free Drop Billy earned a spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run Nov. 4 at Del Mar.
Robby Albarado, who rode Wicked Style to victory in the 2007 Breeders’ Futurity, had Free Drop Billy in mid pack as longshot Ready Prospector led the field of 11 through fractions of :23.34, :47.11 and 1:12.66. On the turn, Bravazo briefly took over before being collared and passed by Free Drop Billy.
Free Drop Billy covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.43 over a fast main track.
Romans also won the race with Brody’s Cause, Dullahan in 2011 and Dawn of War in 2005.
The victory was worth $300,000 and increased Free Drop Billy’s earnings to $428,020 with a record of 4-2-2-0. A Keeneland Sales graduate, Free Drop Billy is a Kentucky-bred son of Union Rags out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Trensa.
Free Drop Billy returned $5, $3.80 and $2.80. Bravazo, ridden by Jon Court, returned $25.20 and $12.80 and finished 2½ lengths in front of Lone Sailor, who paid $8.80 to show under Florent Geroux.
Lionite finished another half-length back in fourth and was followed in order by Givemeaminit, Ezmosh, Crea’s Bklyn Law, Bourbon Resolution, Ready Prospector and Lone Rock. Ten City did not finish.