Awesome Slew’s Hades denies champ Fierceness in Holy Bull S. (G3)
Sunday, February 4, 2024

Hades wins the 2024 Holy Bull S. (G3) in his stakes debut - Lauren King photo

Hades kicked off his road to the 2024 Kentucky Derby (G1) with a two-length victory in Saturday’s $250,000 Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

The 3-year-old son of Awesome Slew, who is now undefeated in three starts, picked up the winner’s share of 20 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Challenge.

After a debut maiden and an eight-length allowance win, both in December at Gulfstream, Hades faced the proposition of facing last year’s 2-year-old champion colt Fierceness in the Holy Bull. Sent away quickly from his inside post, Hades had a narrow lead over Inveigled and Fierceness around the first turn. The trio were side-by-side midway on the backstretch after a half-mile in :50.53.

Fierceness took the lead on the final turn before Hades battled back and retook the top spot in upper stretch. Hades began to pull clear with a furlong to run as Fierceness gave way. Domestic Product made a late charge but could get no closer than the final margin.

“This is what you hope for,” owner D J Stable's Jonathan Green said. “You hope you have a horse that’s this good that can carry your dreams into another level for the Florida Derby and then the Kentucky Derby. The thing that was so exciting to me about this race was not only the way that (trainer) Joe (Orseno) campaigned the horse, which was outstanding. He knows how to handle a horse and get him into the Triple Crown races. But I was so happy that our horse went eyeball-to-eyeball with a champ and put him away. To me, that really shows something.”

Hades has earned $225,000 in his three victories. The bay sophomore was bred by Ocala Stud, Joseph M. O’Farrell III, David O’Farrell et al. D J Stable went to $130,000 for Hades at the 2023 OBS April Sale. Out of The Shady Lady, Hades is a half-brother to Astoria S. winner Devious Dame.

Orseno indicated that the March 2 Fountain of Youth S. (G2) would be the logical next step for Hades.

Awesome Slew, who stands this year for $4,000, is currently the second-leading sire in Florida and leads both the 2024 Third-Crop and Cumulative Third-Crop lists.



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