HALLANDALE BEACH, FL—DJ Stable LLC and Richard 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.

Florida-bred Hades will put his undefeated record in two starts on the line in Saturday’s $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park, where 2023 2-year-old champion Fierceness will make his highly anticipated sophomore debut in the mile-and-sixteenth prep for the Grade 1 Curlin Florida Derby to be run March 30.

The Holy Bull also offers to the top five finishers qualifying points for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve on a 20-10-6-4-2 basis.

“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 (G1) with Red Bullet, the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) with Macho Uno and the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) with Perfect Sting.

Hades overcame bumping at the start of his Dec. 9 debut at Gulfstream Park, closing from well back to get up in time to win a $50,000 optional claiming maiden race going five-and-a-half furlongs at Gulfstream. The 3-year-old gelding, who was purchased by D.J. Stable out of the Ocala Stud consignment for $130,000 at the 2022 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale, had a much easier time of things next out in a first level allowance race for Florida-breds, shaking off early pressure while setting the back and drawing away to an eight-length romp on Dec. 31

“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,” Orseno said. “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 LLC and Cotran, who had never owned a horse together before teaming on the winning bid to buy Hades.

“DJ 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.

Hades is by Ocala Stud stallion Awesome Slew out of The Shady Lady, by Quality Road and was bred in Florida by Ocala Stud, Joseph M. O’Farrell III and David O’Farrell et. al. He has earned $63,100 in his two starts.

Return to the Feb. 1 issue of Wire to Wire