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Flavien Prat aboard Get Her Number after winning the American Pharoah Stakes.
Part 1 - Awesome Again, Rodeo Drive, and John Henry Turf Championship Stakes
There were three Breeders' Cup Challenge Series races in the juvenile divisions on Saturday at Santa Anita. Racing in California continues without fans in attendance, but conditions were typical for late September with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80's, the main track fast and the turf course firm. The 2-year-old Breeders' Cup Championship races will be run at Keeneland on Friday November 6.
The $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes (G1) featured a field of seven 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles looking for automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Del Mar Futurity (G1) runner-up Spielberg was sent off as the 11-10 favorite. In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Touchdown Brown, 2nd in the I'm Smokin Stakes, and 5-1 third choice Notable Exception, a debut winner at Arlington last out.
Get Her Number leads down the stretch in the American Pharoah.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 6 Get Her Number Prat 18.20 8.20 3.40 2 Rombauer Smith 9.60 4.40 5 Spielberg Saez 2.40 Winning Time: 1:44.92 $1 Exacta 6-2 75.20 $0.50 Trifecta 6-2-5 102.20 $0.10 Superfecta 6-2-5-8 77.21
Left: Get Her Number in the winner's circle. Ruben Alvarado, assistant to winning trainer Peter Miller said, "We wanted to see how the horse could do in the grass so we decided to give that a shot. There wasn't anything too quick for him on the turf. We had to take close to a month before coming back to this race. We went back to the dirt and gave him a couple workouts that went well, so we decided let's do it and see if we get lucky or not. I told Prat, ‘He breaks well, and you know the horse well. If you can take the lead, then take the lead and we will see how far he can go.' I think Keeneland is the plan. If everything comes off oka
Right: Get Her Number back at the barn after the race. Get Her Number in the walking ring before the race. Winning jockey Flavien Prat said, "I thought it was a great move (switching to dirt). He was a bit disappointing last race (Fourth on Sept. 7 at Del Mar). I thought I had good race, easy pace and he didn't really show a turn of foot. I thought running on the dirt was a good move. We had a good trip; he broke well and he put me in the race. He reacted well on the backside and by that point I felt in control. It is great, Breeders' Cup is always something we all look forward to so it's cool."
Left: Second place finisher Rombauer in the post parade. The Mike McCarthy trainee improved his record to 1 win, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 3 starts, earning $90,500 for owner-breeders John and Diane Fradkin.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Spielberg crosses the finish 5 1/2 lengths behind the winner. The Bob Baffert trainee improved his record to 2 seconds and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $97,000 for owners SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket STables, Golconda Stabkles, Siena Farm, and Robert Masterson.
The start of the American Pharoah Stakes.
Princess Noor wins the Chandelier Stakes (G1)
Jockey Luis Saez sent 12-1 Illumination to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.51, 48.28, and 1:12.95 while pressed by Miss Costa Rica and stalked by Varda. Turning for home Illumination tired as jockey Victor Espinoza sent Princess Noor 3 wide to sweep to the front through 1 mile in 1:38.73. Kept to task by Espinoza, Princess Noor powered away to win by 8 1/4 lengths over Varda in 1:45.59. It was another 9 1/4 lengths back to Miss Costa Rica third.
Left: Princess Noor in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "I talked to Victor before and I talked to all my riders I told them, ‘Just ride your races'. When you are in the one hole they usually don't break as well but I think Victor rode her with a lot of confidence. I saw that nice move before the 3/8ths and you can only do that when you have a Ferrari under you. Turning for home I was one-two-three and I thought, ‘this is a nice feeling'. I was hoping the other one (Illumination) would have held on for third. This filly is just incredible and very talented. I don't train her as hard and I run her into shape. You never know if they can go two turns until they do it and it looks like that's not going to be a problem.
Right: Princess Noor returns to the barn. Winning jockey Victor Espinoza said, "The talent, the energy, the speed! She dominated everyone with the energy she created during the race and I had a lot of confidence in her. Bob knows how to train his horses. She's really kind, and she doesn't need much. She does everything on her own, I'm just the pilot trying to find a way to have a little room to let her run and stretch her legs. She reminds me of other great horses I used to ride like American Pharoah and California Chrome. The talent is there, we just have to let them be happy around the racetrack."
Left: Second place finisher Varda returns after the race. The Bob Baffert trainee improved her record to 1 win and 1 second in 2 starts, earning $73,000 for owner Baoma Corporation.
Right: Third place finisher Miss Costa Rica in the paddock. The Richard Baltas trainee improved her record to 1 win and 1 third in 2 starts, earning $57,000 for owners Carooll Boys Racing, Sayjay Racing, Jerry McClanahan, and Richard Baltas.
The start of the Chandelier.
Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez sent Bulletproof One to a clear lead of as many as 2 lengths down the back and around the turn, chased by 9-1 Biddy Duke and Blue Sky Baby through a quarter in 21.67. In the stretch, Bulletproof One opened up a 3 1/2 length lead through a half in 43.72, and cruised the rest of the way to win by 2 1/4 lengths over late-running Aqua Seaform Shame in 1:01.12. It was another 1/2 length back to Biddy Duke third.
Winning owner Aron Wellman said, "She's so cool, to have a crack sprinter like her that just guns out of the gate and goes as fast as she can for as far as she can, it's such a joy to see a filly with such natural speed and such a desire to do what she wants to do is a pleasure. She's been so good to us." Ruben Alvarado, assistant to winning trainer Peter Miller said, "I was expecting her to run big. I know that she's a different horse on the grass and she loves this track. She ran big on this track and did really well today. We just needed her to come out of the gate and say goodbye. She's getting more professional but still wants to go short, she's a sprinter. We are looking to run something short in Keeneland next."
Jockey Mario Gutierrez sent 15-2 No Pedigree to the lead through a quarter in 21.89 while pressed by Amanzi Yimpilo and stalked by Commander Khai. Turning for home, No Pedigree continued to lead to the 1/8 pole through a half in 44.66 before tiring. Amanzi Yimpilo, confidently ridden by Luis Saez, took over the lead through 5f in 56.51 and held off late-running Wyfire to win by a head in 1:02.77. It was another 1/2 length back to 16-1 Windy City Red third, and a neck more to favorite Commander Khai fourth.
Winning jockey Luis Saez said, "She was pretty nervous behind the gate, we had a little trouble, but I knew she was ready. I could feel the power. She just broke very well and sat in a great spot which was the spot I was thinking to be in. When we came down the stretch she fought, she was a fighter and we got there. I had a feeling we would get it."
Blake Heap, assistant to winning trainer Wesley Ward said, "We worked her a half mile on the dirt and we went wide. We weren't really trying to set the track afire. We wanted to do something to get a feel of the situation here and get a little air. It's on to the Breeders' Cup we hope!"