Jockey Julien Leparoux took a productive jaunt to Arlington on Saturday, earning two graded wins and with more potentially to come next month with the same horses on Arlington Million Day.
Sonic Boom laid the boom down on six rivals in the $100,000 American Derby (G3), a prep for next month’s Secretariat (G1).
The 3-5 favorite, Sonic Boom set an unpressured pace of :23.43, :48.05, and 1:13.65, and passed the wire 1 3/4 lengths in front of second choice Gorgeous Kitten in a time of 1:49.90 for 1 1/8 miles.
“On the backside I felt very comfortable. My horse relaxed for me and was doing it very easy,” Leparoux said. “When I asked him at the quarter pole, he really kicked on nice.”
Owned by Lothenbach Stables and trained by Ian Wilkes, Sonic Boom returned $3.20.
A winner once in four starts at two with a placing in the $102,000 Zuma Beach at Santa Anita, Sonic Boom finished fourth in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream to kick off his sophomore campaign, but rebounded to win the $75,000 Columbia at Tampa Bay Downs by a neck.
Seventh of eight in the Transylvania (G3) in his graded debut, Sonic Boom entered this test off a comfortable, odds-on win against second-level allowance foes at Churchill Downs. He’s now won $245,800 from a line of 9-4-1-1.
A $135,000 Keeneland September yearling bred in Kentucky by Athens Woods LLC and the More Than Ready Syndicate, Sonic Boom is by More Than Ready and out of Silent Circle, by Indian Charlie. He’s a full brother to the Grade 2-placed Galientos and from the extended family of champion turf mare De La Rose.
In the $100,000 Stars and Stripes (G3), a 1 1/2-mile prep for the American St. Leger (G3), Keystoneforvictory overtook 6-5 favorite The Pizza Man inside the final sixteenth to win by 1 1/2 lengths with Leparoux up. The final time was 2:29.89 on firm ground.
Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Mike Maker, Keystoneforvictory paid $5.80 as the 19-10 second choice. The Pizza Man, who won the Stars and Stripes in 2014 and swept both it and the Arlington Million (G1) the following year, held off Applicator by a head for the place.
This was the third career stakes win for Keystoneforvictory, who landed the $75,000 Forty Niner and $125,000 Claiming Crown Emerald last year, both at Gulfstream. In three starts earlier this year, Keystoneforvictory won an optional claiming/starter allowance at Gulfstream, placed third as the favorite in the Barbados Gold Cup, and won a starter handicap at Gulfstream.
“He’s a pretty easy horse to train. He’s a win machine,” said Maker, who saw the four-year-old by Shakespeare improve his lifetime mark to 15-8-0-2, $307,590.
Bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge Farm, the Kentucky-bred was a $25,000 Keeneland September yearling and is out of the stakes-winning Free Fee Lady, by Victory Gallop.