Life’s an Audible Makes the Grade in $175,000 Sweetest Chant (G3)
First of Five Stakes, Four Graded, Worth $850K on Holy Bull (G3) Card
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Repole Stable’s Life’s an Audible, unhurried in the early going, was swung outside approaching the stretch and came with a steady run through the lane to score a popular neck victory in Saturday’s $175,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The 29th running of the 1 1/16-mile Sweetest Chant for fillies was the first of five stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds, four graded, worth $850,000 in purses on a 12-race card anchored by the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3), Gulfstream’s next stop on the road to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) March 31.
Life’s an Audible ($5.80) completed the distance in 1:39.36 over a firm turf course to earn her first graded-stakes triumph in her third try. She was second by a half-length in the Miss Grillo (G2) and eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) last fall, both times to Hard to Justify.
It was the second straight Sweetest Chant victory for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, who teamed up last winter with Cairo Consort. Pletcher also won the Sweetest Chant in 1999 with Pico Teneriffe.
Macanga, a last out maiden winner Dec. 10 at Gulfstream was intent on the lead from Post 5 and took the field of eight through a quarter-mile in 23.59 seconds and a half in 47.06, pressed to her outside by Golden Ghost, riding a two-race win streak into her graded debut. Style Points tracked in third along the rail with Milliat fourth and Life’s an Audible racing second to last.
Horses began to bunch closer up front midway around the turn after six furlongs went in 1:10.36 when Ortiz gave Life’s an Audible her cue and she began to make up ground on the far outside. At the same time, Style Points squeezed through an inside opening in mid-stretch to forge a short lead before being caught by 9-5 favorite Life’s an Audible approaching the wire.
“I thought it was great,” Pletcher said. “[She] got a little further back than we had talked about prior to the race, but it seems like she’s kind of found her groove just wanting to settle and make a late run. She really delivered a good turn of foot.”
Dynamic Pricing was third, a neck behind Style Points, with 25-1 long shot Madame Mischief 1 ¾ lengths back in fourth. Macanga, Pharoah’s Wine, Golden Ghost and Milliat completed the order of finish.
“The filly broke a little slow today. After that, we went to Plan B and let her be her and let her relax,” Ortiz said. “She did well. The mile and a sixteenth helped her today because she wasn’t that close early. Last time she was finishing. Today, she got time to get there.”
Three of Life’s an Audible’s first five races came at a mile or less, including each of her last two, the most recent a closing second from outermost Post 10 in the Jan. 6 Ginger Brew at Gulfstream in her sophomore debut.
“She stumbled a bit, we had an outside draw and I think it was a little bit short of her best distance,” Pletcher said. “She appreciated the mile and a sixteenth today.”