Tuesday, October 20, 2015

American Pharoah Posts Another Strong Work Heading into Breeders’ Cup

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah completed major preparations for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) with a strong 6-furlong workout in 1:10.80 Tuesday morning at Santa Anita.

“Champ worked liked a beast,” Justin Zayat wrote in a tweet immediately following the move.

Zayat, racing and stallion manager for the 3-year-old colt’s owner (Zayat Stables), said American Pharoah will have an easy work before shipping to Keeneland Tuesday for his final career start in the Oct. 31 Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 ¼ miles. Tuesday’s work was American Pharoah’s sixth since a second-place finish in the $1.6 million Travers Stakes (G1) Aug. 29 at Saratoga.

Pre-entries for this year’s 13 Breeders’ Cup races will be announced Wednesday, with the post position draw Monday.

The Oaklawn-raced contingent will be headed by American Pharoah, who made his first two starts this year in Hot Springs and won the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 14 and the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 11.

American Pharoah was the country’s champion 2-year-old male.
 
Tuning Up

Four Oaklawn stakes winners continued preparations the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) with workouts late last week.

Holy Boss ($100,000 Bachelor) worked 5 furlongs in :59.80 Sunday at Keeneland for six-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen.

Gentlemen’s Bet ($100,000 Hot Springs) worked a bullet 5 furlongs (1:00.80) Sunday at Churchill Downs for trainer Ron Moquett.

Alsvid ($300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, G3) zipped a bullet 3 furlongs (:34.40) Saturday at Churchill Downs for Chris Hartman, Oaklawn’s leading trainer this year.

Ivan Fallunovalot ($100,000 King Cotton) worked a half-mile in :47.83 Friday at Remington Park for trainer Tom Howard.
 
Sarah Smile

Sarah Sis provided trainer Ingrid Mason with her biggest career victory in the $250,000 Raven Run Stakes (G2) Saturday at Keeneland, winning the 7-furlong race for fillies and mares by a half-length under Florent Geroux at odds of 17-1.

Sarah Sis was one of the leading 3-year-old fillies at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, finishing second in the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31 and winning the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 7. She also won the $75,000 Panthers Stakes and the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) this summer at Prairie Meadows.

Mason, Oaklawn’s co-seventh-leading trainer this year, saddled her first winner in 2005, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.
 
Six Pack

Two of the six horses who competed in Oaklawn’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31 have come back to win Grade 2 events. Martha Washington runner-up Sarah Sis won Saturday’s $250,000 Raven Run Stakes (G2) at Keeneland and High Dollar Woman, who finished fifth, won the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G2) July 18 at Indiana Grand.

The Martha Washington field was headed by champion Take Charge Brandi, who won the 1-mile race for 3-year-old fillies by a head. The recently retired Take Charge Brandi, an Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly, is entered in the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
 
Valid Expectations Dead

Valid Expectations, among the first nationally prominent horses for six-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen, has died at the age of 22. A leading Texas sire, Valid Expectations had been pensioned in Kentucky after retiring from stud duty at Lane’s End Texas in 2013.

Valid Expectations won 12 of 27 starts and $596,092 in his career. In addition, he won seven stakes races (two were graded), including the $50,000 Mountain Valley and the $75,000 Bachelor as a 3-year-old at the 1996 Oaklawn meeting. Asmussen’s older brother, champion French jockey Cash Asmussen, flew to Arkansas to guide Valid Expectations to his seven-length victory in the Mountain Valley.

Valid Expectations has sired more than 40 stakes winners, including Ivan Fallunovalot, winner of Oaklawn’s $100,000 King Cotton Feb. 7. Ivan Fallunovalot, a 5-year-old Texas-bred gelding, is scheduled to make his next start in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Oct. 31 at Keeneland.

Steve Asmussen’s longtime clients, brothers Robert and Leland Ackerley of Houston, purchased Valid Expectations for $225,000 as a 2-year-old.

Asmussen, who saddled his first winner in 1986, entered Tuesday with 7,127 career victories, second-highest total in North American history, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.

Finish Lines

Heykittykittykitty, a two-time allowance/optional claiming winner at this year’s Oaklawn meeting, was a 1 ¼-length winner of Friday night’s $130,000 (estimated) Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint Stakes, a 6-furlong race restricted to fillies and mares bred in Oklahoma. Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, Oaklawn’s sixth-leading trainer this year, trains Heykittykittykitty. … Spring Included, winner of Oaklawn’s $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes and $100,000 Carousel Stakes earlier this year, finished third in an allowance/optional claiming sprint Sunday at Keeneland. … Arch Arch Baby, from the first crop of 2011 Arkansas Derby winner Archarcharch, finished second in a maiden-allowance sprint for 2-year-old fillies Sunday at Keeneland. Arch Arch Baby is trained by Jinks Fires of Hot Springs. The filly was ridden Sunday by Jon Court. Fires and Court teamed for Archarcharch’s Arkansas Derby victory.


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