The road to the Kentucky Derby has long run thru the winter preps at Gulfstream Park. Saturdays Holy Bull winner, Hades, has stamped himself as one to watch after decisively defeating heavily favored BC Juvenile Champion Fierceness. Trained by Gulfstream based Joe Orseno, the son of Awesome Slew out of a Quality Road mare, is now 3-3 lifetime with wins at 5 ½ furlongs, 7 furlongs and now 1 1/16th miles. “I wasn’t concerned about going 2 turns for the first time” said Orseno, “he trains as if he could run all day”. Owned by D. J. Stable LLC in partnership with Robert Cotran, Hades was a $130,000 purchase at the OBS Sales. Orseno and D. J.’s Jon Green expressed interest in the colt who breezed 21.1 at the sale. They planned to cap their bidding under six figures but as the numbers rose Joe said “I can get Robert to join in” and they stayed on until the gavel fell. Cotran then received a surprise call from Orseno informing him that he had “just bought a horse”. Bred and prepared by the O’Farrell’s at Ocala Stud, the colt was slowed by minor issues and just wasn’t the same horse that came out of the sale. Orseno decided to give him a couple months back on the farm, also recommending that he be gelded, and when he returned to the barn he was a different animal. Joe was hoping to get Hades ready for the final leg of the Florida Stallion Series but timing wasn’t good so he made his debut on December 3rd with a winning effort. In an interesting twist, both Joe and Jon Green are Board members of the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen, with Joe being the Board President, so winning a big one at home was extra sweet and both Green and Cotran are currently on the ballot seeking 3 year terms in the upcoming Board election. By taking the Grade 3 Holy Bull, Hades picks up 20 coveted Kentucky Derby points, and can look ahead to either the Fountain of Youth or the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park to enhance his chances at the roses. Currently listed 4th in the Derby rankings, Hades has been ridden in all 3 winning races by veteran jockey Paco Lopez.