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Orseno-Trained Hades Steps Up in Holy Bull Test

D. J. Stable and Robert Cotran’s Hades  has Joe Orseno looking back at his highly successful training career, at the same time, dreaming about what the future may bring.

Hades will put his undefeated record in two starts on the line in the Feb. 3 $250,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, where 2023 champion 2-year-old male Fierceness  will make his highly anticipated sophomore debut in the 1 1/16-mile prep for the March 30 Florida Derby (G1).

“It became fun in his second race at the top of the stretch, when he changed leads and just accelerated away from those horses. It was a wild moment for me, and I’ve had some wild moments with some big horses,” Orseno said. “He took me right there and I thought, ‘This horse could bring us back to some of the big races we always want to be in.'”

Orseno has been in and won many of Thoroughbred racing’s biggest races, including the 2000 Preakness Stakes (G1) with Red Bullet, the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) with Macho Uno, and the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1T) with Perfect Sting.

Hades overcame bumping at the start of his Dec. 9 debut, closing from well back to get up in time to win a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race at Gulfstream. The 3-year-old gelding, who was purchased for $130,000 at the 2022 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, had a much easier time of things in his return in a seven-furlong allowance, shaking off early pressure while setting much of the pace and drawing away to an eight-length romp.

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“When we bought him, we had one desire in that we thought he was going to be a horse that could go long. That’s what we were all hoping for, so that’s why we went the extra bid or two on him,” said Orseno, who has trained seven grade 1 winners. “In the sale, he had a fantastic work. but he had a tremendous gallop out, which really attracts me. Any horse can go an eighth of a mile or a quarter-mile, but the ones that can’t gallop out I stay away from. He just kept going and going, and he just always appeared that he wanted more ground.”

Orseno is enjoying Hades’ early success with his longtime clients, Leonard Green’s D. J. Stable and Cotran, who had never owned a horse together before teaming on the winning bid to buy Hades.

“D. J. Stable has been a longtime client of mine, as has Robert Cotran. Probably 30 years-plus, but they never really knew each other,” Orseno said.

Hades, 6-1 on the morning line, will break from the rail post position under Paco Lopez, who was aboard for his two promising victories.

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.

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