Majesticperfection passed his first Grade 1 test with flying
colors, wiring the field in Sunday’s $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at
Saratoga Race Course, his first start in graded company.
The 4-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday vaulted out of the
gate and dictated a swift pace, leading the field through a quarter in 22.80
and a half-mile in 45.60. Never seriously threatened, he crossed the wire 2 ¾
lengths in front under a hand ride for his fifth straight win.
His final time for the six furlongs was 1:08.63.
“He broke really smart and sharp, and he really made my job
a lot easier,” said jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. “He’s a pretty quick horse
and really professional. Once he got there, he felt really comfortable and we
got away with some nice fractions. I knew before the Prairie Meadows race
[Iowa Sprint Handicap] that he was the real deal. I’ve known it since the first
time I rode him.”
Owned by Satish Sanan’s Padua Stables, Majesticperfection
made the first start of his career in January, finishing third in a maiden race
at Fair Grounds in the mud. He caught a fast track at the Louisiana
oval to break his maiden at second asking on February 14, then took a pair of
allowances at Oaklawn
Park and Churchill Downs
before winning the Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows on June 25.
“He’s been very fast, he’s a very good horse, and I’m very
proud that he ran this race on this level,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “We
could all read how well he’d run in the other spots, but for him to bring it up
against this level of competition, it puts him exactly where we want him to be.
He had his chance to show who he is, and he got it done, so it was beautiful.”
The even-money favorite in the field of seven, which
included millionaire graded stakes winners Big Drama (second), Bribon (third)
and Gayego (fourth), Majesticperfection returned $4.00 and nearly doubled his
own earnings to $310,430. With the Vanderbilt win, his record stands at 5-0-1
from six starts. Temecula Creek, Mambo Meister and Smokey Fire completed the
order of finish in the Vanderbilt.
“I think he beat a very good group, but we’ve got to
reproduce that performance again,” Asmussen said. “It’s very good to see how
fast he ran at Churchill, and the fact that the Breeders’ Cup is there, and we’ll
get with the Sanan family, but that has been our target with him for a little
Though he did not outline a firm plan for the colt, Asmussen
said that the Grade 1, $350,000 Vosburgh at Belmont Park
on October 2 would likely be his next and final start before the Grade 1
Breeders’ Cup Sprint on November 7.