Holy Bull winner Audible looks like a serious Kentucky Derby prospect. His turn of foot while on the lead after entering the straight, when Free Drop Billy loomed a serious threat, to separate himself from that rival was electric.

The next morning, after conferring with major partner Elliott Walden of Winstar Farm, the decision was made to skip the next dance and go straight to the Florida Derby.

Right now, major competition and scheduling notwithstanding, Audible is already appears to be where he needs to be. The danger is in overdoing it and the seasoned Todd Pletcher will not fall into the over-the-top trap going into May’s first Saturday.

A mile and a sixteenth in 1:41.92 was running on Saturday. The track was damp, tightened nicely by early morning rains and dried by intermittent sunlight and sustained winds. By anyone’s measure, it was a big figure effort; hence the longer time between races.

Free Drop Billy ran to the class he showed at 2 and series of strong workouts for his three-year-old debut. He will be ready for the next one. Stablemate Tiz Mischief, a prospect we have high regard for, looked a little soft in the paddock and is sure to benefit from his run.

On the Derby trail, it's always good to see those finish-too-late show types that will race themselves into top condition. That’s the way Dale Romans seems to be playing this one.

Free Drop Billy looks like a next-time horse. Tiz Mischief is likely to need another race, as will Enticed, who is much better than his season’s debut indicates. He was the disappointment of this year's renewal.

Swale winner Strike Power is an awesomely fast beast. I remarked in the paddock that while he was darker, to me he was reminiscent of—I know I’m crazy here—because the name that came to my mind was Raise a Native.

No comparisons, just a subconscious moment. That chestnut freak was amazing one afternoon at newly constructed Aqueduct in the early 60s. Undefeated at 2, he never raced at 3 but made a pretty good sire; Alydar and Mr. Prospector, to name just two of his get.

Strike Power, who earned a 1 on the Thoro-Graph sheets in his 5.5 furlong debut, made the start look bad for all but himself, and it was a nice assemblage of talent that he throttled. He broke like a bullet but rated kindly enough, ridden with confidence by Luis Saez.

Moving up in class and distance into a Grade 3, he came back blowing after his 7 furlongs in 1:22.68. Right now, he’s a speed freak. By Speightstown out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare, the Courtlandt Farm homebred might go farther, and might not, too. Time always tells.

Meanwhile, the second and third finishers were good. Gotta Go, a real looker, was an excellent second, showing class and power late, and Diamond King made a good seasonal debut for new trainer John Servis, in a Smarty Party renewal sort of way. Both will benefit from their runs and more distance.

Avery Island looked good taking the Withers in workmanlike fashion, a good effort while making his three-year-old debut at 9 furlongs. That description would also cover the runner-up, Firenze Fire, and third finisher, the behemoth and very expensive Marconi, who clearly has some lessons to learn.

Like the winner, Marconi will be heard from, but the Withers was slowly run and on this day, Avery Island won a battle of the grinders. All three should improve for various asundry reasons.

On the Left Coast, an “a other than” masquerading as the Grade 3 Robert Lewis Memorial, went to a recent graduate, lone F Lombo, who did look good doing it.

Lombo didn’t get anyone’s blood boiling but his development should be followed until we know more. Runnerup Ayacara is developing nicely but it’s hard to know anything definitively until these horses return to show whether there’s more there, there.