American Theorem eyes Santa Anita Derby following bullet drill

American Theorem eyes Santa Anita Derby following bullet drill
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

American Theorem, who faded in the Grade 2 Rebel after dueling through sharp fractions with eventual winner Nadal, returned to the work tab at Santa Anita Park and promptly fired a bullet for trainer George Papaprodromou.

Kretz Racing’s American Theorem blazed five furlongs in :59.20 while working in company at Santa Anita, which was the fastest of 68 works at the distance. The sharp move is set to propel him onward to the Santa Anita Derby (G1), which has been postponed from this Saturday due to the temporary suspension of racing at Santa Anita due to COVID-19.

“After that work, yeah I think we’re going,” Papaprodromou said Wednesday afternoon.

You can view the work via XBTV by clicking here

While a new date for the Santa Anita Derby hasn’t been set, track officials and horsemen with contenders alike are holding out hope it can be run one week later on April 11 or the following week. Santa Anita has been temporarily barred from racing since last Friday by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health due to the coronavirus. All three cards scheduled for this weekend have been scrapped.

As for American Theorem, his Rebel effort came following a lengthy 5 ½-month layoff. The son of American Pharoah served notice as a colt to watch last season when scoring on debut at Del Mar and coming back to run second behind Eight Rings in the Grade 1 American Pharoah. He subsequently developed shin issues that forced him to miss the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and put him away for the season.

When resurfacing in the 1 1/16-miles Rebel on May 14, American Theorem and Nadal ushered the field through opening fractions of :22.89, :46 flat and 1:11.38 for six furlongs over a sloppy track. As Nadal continued to motor along on the front end, American Theorem started to falter and wound up beating just one horse to the wire.

While Papaprodromou was hoping for a better result, there’s no shortage of potential excuses for American Theorem given the lengthy layoff, first time shipping and first time on a wet track.

“He came out of the Rebel great, just got tired coming off a six-month layoff with those fast fractions. That’s probably what cost us,” Papaprodromou said.

Out of the Maria's Mon mare Mighty Renee, American Theorem was a $190,000 auction purchase at the 2018 Keeneland September sale. He is currently trading at 100-1 in the William Hill Kentucky Derby future book. 

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