American Pharoah colt strikes in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

November 01, 2019 04:15pm

A son of the 2015 Triple Crown winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic hero American Pharoah, Four Wheel Drive delivered for his sire at the first opportunity at the championship level.

Off fastest in a full field of 12, the colt improved to 3-for-3 in winning Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park.

Fractions went in 21.55 and 44.03 seconds on Four Wheel Drive’s way to completing five furlongs in a final time of 55.66 seconds over firm going.

Four Wheel Drive is trained by Wesley Ward, for whom this race is tailor-made. Get out of the gate on top, as his trainees often do, and it’s on to victory.

Chimney Rock overcame a rail draw to run second throughout, while Another Miracle — also a son of American Pharoah — just held off the charging filly Kimari for the third spot.

A third American Pharoah offspring, Sweet Melania, was scheduled to run later in the Breeders’ Cup card in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“That’s going to be a tremendous sire,” Ward said of American Pharoah, who entered Friday as racing’s leading first-crop sire in 2019. “For him to come out onto the scene with his first crop and have a Breeders’ Cup winner and three running on the day, it’s really says what he’s going to be.”

Breeze Easy LLC campaigns Four Wheel Drive, who entered off two stakes wins in Colonial Downs’ Rosie’s Stakes and Belmont Park’s Grade 3 Futurity. He was away as the 3-2 favorite and returned $5 to win.

For second-place Chimney Rock, Friday’s Juvenile Turf Sprint marked his third straight race finishing behind only a Ward-trained rival.

The Mike Maker trainee was second to Cambria on Sept. 7 in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes and runner-up to Kimari on Oct. 6 in Keeneland’s Indian Summer Stakes.

Three starts back, Chimney Rock got the better of another Ward freshman, Summer Sangria, in a Sept. 1 maiden special weight race at Saratoga.

“Chimney Rock was coming right after us (Friday) and I have a history with that horse,” Ward said. “He beat me at Saratoga and we just beat him down at Kentucky Downs, so I knew he’d be tough. He ran a great race, but fortunately my guy was better.”

Maker said he had “no complaints” with Chimney Rock’s effort in the Juvenile Turf Sprint.

“I don’t think five furlongs is his best distance, so we have been trying to keep him a little sharper and close to the pace and that worked out,” Maker said.

Another Miracle won twice this summer at Saratoga and improved on a fifth-place showing in Belmont’s Futurity with his third-place run Friday.

“He’s smaller in stature and he really got beat up going down the backside,” trainer Gary Contessa said. “He was like a ping pong ball, just in the wrong place with three or four horses inside of him and three outside of him, and you see him beat up.

“Then to overcome that and come running and finish third, I thought he ran a heck of a race. I’m very proud of him today.”

Kimari failed to win Friday for the first time on American soil. The only defeat of her first four starts came in the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) in June at Royal Ascot.  


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