Free Drop Billy winning the Breeders' Futurity (G1)
B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm announced that it will stand Grade 1-winning juvenile and 2018 Kentucky Derby (G1) contender Free Drop Billy, a son of Union Rags, at the end of his racing career. Trained by Dale Romans and campaigned by Albaugh Family Stables (which also raced Spendthrift stallion Brody’s Cause), Free Drop Billy is Union Rags’ top colt.
“We are delighted to be working with the Albaugh family again to stand Free Drop Billy,” said Ned Toffey, General Manager at Spendthrift Farm. “He’s a great-looking horse who’s proven to be talented, precocious and consistent and he’s from a proven sire’s family. He’s a very complete stallion prospect, and he’ll make a great addition to our roster.”
At two, Free Drop Billy won Keeneland’s $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) in his initial start around two turns, taking command of the race at the head of the lane and going on to defeat subsequent Risen Star S. (G2) winner Bravazo by a dominating four lengths. Prior to the Breeders’ Futurity victory, he finished second in Saratoga’s Hopeful S. (G1), where he rallied furiously in the stretch to miss by just a neck to Sporting Chance and was runner-up to eventual Grade 1 winner Firenze Fire in the Sanford S. (G3), also at Saratoga, after breaking his maiden impressively by three lengths in his 5 ½-furlong career debut at Churchill Downs in June.
This year at three, Free Drop Billy has made his presence felt in a trio of Derby preps. He finished second to Audible in the Holy Bull S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park in his seasonal bow in February. He followed up that strong effort with third-place finishes in both the Gotham S. (G2) at Aqueduct in March and most recently in the Blue Grass S. (G2) at Keeneland April 7. He sits at No. 15 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard as he continues preparations for the First Saturday in May.
“We are thankful for the opportunities Free Drop Billy has afforded us,” said Jason Loutsch of Albaugh Family Stable, “and we are extremely excited about his future stallion career at Spendthrift. Since his debut win, we have saddled him seven times in graded stakes competition across multiple tracks and he hit the board in six of those starts. He is the most honest and workmanlike horse we have ever owned. He just loves to train and always gives a big effort.”
A $200,000 Keeneland September yearling, Free Drop Billy is produced from the Graded stakes-placed Giant’s Causeway mare Trensa and is a half-brother to British-based Group 1 winner Hawkbill from the family of champion Cozzene.