Leonard Green and Jonathan Green’s Another Miracle is set for a turf and stakes debut in Friday’s $100,000 Skidmore S. at Saratoga, but trainer Gary Contessa won’t be too dashed if the 5 1/2-furlong sprint is rained onto the main track.
After all, the American Pharoah colt, who was second on debut at Belmont to eventual Saratoga Special (G2) star Green Light Go, wired an off-the-turf maiden at the Spa July 24. Another Miracle broke on top and had too much speed for his rivals when covering 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.33.
“I wouldn’t mind if the race came off the turf, but if you look at the American Pharoah winners, there’s been (seven) maiden winners and (six) have been on the grass,” Contessa said of his turf prowess, grandfathering in Prix du Bois (G3) hero Maven who’d broken his maiden on dirt. “His last two works have been on the grass and have been absolutely stellar.
“This morning, he floated over the turf course when we blew him out,” the trainer noted of Another Miracle’s three-eighths in :35.00 Sunday on Saratoga’s Oklahoma training turf.
“I’m sure when it’s all said and done, I’m sure American Pharoah will be a great dirt sire and a turf sire. It’s nice knowing you have that going for you. I like the distance for him, too.”
Contessa added that a return to dirt for the September 2 Hopeful (G1) is possible.
“I’m taking the easier way, but you never know, the Hopeful is two weeks later and we’ll nominate and see. But he worked well over the turf, so I’m expecting a big race out of him. It doesn’t hurt, after seeing the race yesterday with Green Light Go; that stamped us as legitimate. So, we’ll see.”
— NYRA (@TheNYRA) July 24, 2019
All three of American Pharoah’s stakes performers so far have earned their black-type on the European turf.
This past Friday, his first-ever winner, Aidan O’Brien’s Monarch of Egypt, became his first Group 1 performer when placing in the Phoenix (G1). Coming off a second to top Irish juvenile Siskin in the Railway (G2), he got much closer in the rematch. Monarch of Egypt appeared to handle the soft going a bit more fluently as he served up a stiff challenge to the favorite before having to settle for second-best again.
Another European-based “Pharoah” colt to garner a stakes credit was Godolphin’s Saqqara King, third as the favorite in the July 14 Prix Roland de Chambure at ParisLongchamp. On July 31, the Wesley Ward-trained Maven tried to add to his resume in the Molecomb (G3) at Glorious Goodwood but ended up crossing the wire 10th of 13.
Three American-based progeny of American Pharoah have opened their accounts on turf since our last update.
At Laurel Park August 1, Alex G. Campbell Jr.’s homebred King of Egypt made a winning debut in a 5 1/2-furlong turf maiden. Trained by Graham Motion, the half-brother to Grade 3 vixens Ultra Brat and It’s Tea Time (both Grade 1-placed) forced the pace and drove clear in 1:03.21.
“He’s a lovely type of horse, a really classy individual,” Motion told Laurel publicity the next day.
“I’d be more inclined to kind of wait for a stake probably and stretch him out. I think that’s what he’s going to want to do. Obviously, he was pretty quick the other day but I won’t be in a big hurry to run him back.”
Robert and Lawana Low’s Sweet Melania, third in both starts sprinting on dirt, appreciated the stretch-out to two turns on the Saratoga turf July 14. The Todd Pletcher juvenile tracked in second then punched home to finish 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.87.
— NYRA (@TheNYRA) July 14, 2019
HnR Nothhaft Horseracing’s homebred Envied prevailed in her July 5 premiere over the Ellis Park turf. Racing without Lasix, the Ben Colebrook pupil got up by a neck while negotiating a mile in 1:35.97.
“One thing about her, she’s always had a really good mind, which I think is pretty typical of these Pharoahs,” Colebrook said. “They seem like they handle everything, just like he did. She’s super classy.”
Other results and upcoming entries
America’s Surprise, a half-sister to two-time champion Songbird, finished third in her premiere in Sunday’s 4TH at Del Mar. Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, who also had Songbird, trains the $325,000 Keeneland September yearling for Phoenix Thoroughbred III.
Les Wagner’s American Butterfly was seventh in a July 21 maiden at Saratoga, a typical debut for Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas. The colt has since fired a bullet half over the Oklahoma training track in :48.10 in August 8.
L.T.B. and James Zahler’s American Legend, a clear second at Ellis Park July 14, tries again for Bernie Flint in Saturday’s 8TH race at the same venue.
Bernadette the Jet, fourth at Laurel July 26 for Campbell and Motion, is entered back at the Maryland track in Thursday’s 1ST race.
Fern Circle Stables’ Cardiac Kid, sixth in a turf route for Ken McPeek, was fifth when shortening up for a dirt sprint at the Spa on Saturday.
Clepat, her sire’s first runner in Japan, reported home seventh in a July 27 newcomers’ race on the Sapporo turf. The Masao Ogawa colorbearer is trained by Yoshito Yahagi.
Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Madaket Stables’ Cool Runnings debuted over a mile on the Del Mar turf July 28 and placed second for Keith Desormeaux.
Michael B. Tabor’s Eagerly was an eye-catching third in his Saratoga unveiling, also around two turns on turf, July 27. Pletcher likewise trained the colt’s dam, Grade 3 winner Excited (by Giant’s Causeway), and half-sister Thrilled (by Uncle Mo), a multiple graded-placed stakes scorer. Second dam Path of Thunder is a stakes-winning full sister to 2000 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) queen Spain.
Lothenbach Stables’ Emily’s Oasis finished second at Ellis Park July 29. The Ian Wilkes trainee, who was fourth in her unveiling in a Churchill Downs dirt sprint, improved in this turf route.
Tabor and Smith’s Formal Attire is slated for his career debut in Wednesday’s 8TH at Indiana Grand for Ward. The chestnut gelding is out of Opulence, a daughter of Giant’s Causeway and champion Rags to Riches.
The O’Brien-trained Holy Roman Empress, fourth in her second try last Friday at the Curragh, could wheel back in a Leopardstown maiden Thursday.
Ballydoyle stablemate Hong Kong, eighth in a different Curragh maiden Friday, is now unplaced from two starts.
OXO Equine’s Kittansett, trained by Chad Brown, tired to sixth in his Saturday debut in a Spa dirt sprint as the 3-2 favorite.
Rosedown Racing Stables’ Liraz faded to 10th in her Gulfstream debut on July 28 for Ward.
Al Shaqab Racing’s homebred Noudha, debuting for Pletcher, stayed on for fourth in a similar maiden on Sunday at Saratoga.
Beth and Michael Harper’s Pharoah Cat, well beaten in his two tries sprinting on dirt, switches to turf for Lukas in Saratoga’s 4TH race on Thursday.
The Jeff Bonde-trained Phast Pharoah trailed Bob Baffert’s Eight Rings in his first outing at Del Mar August 4.
Ten Broeck Farm’s debutante Seagal just missed as the 1-2 favorite at Indiana Grand July 19 for Ward.
J&G Stables and Nicholas Vaccarezza’s Shell Shock placed second in her unveiling Sunday at Gulfstream Park for Carlo Vaccarezza.
Tracy Farmer’s Skygaze, fourth as the 2-1 favorite in her Woodbine premiere July 20, has been working back for Mark Casse.
Burning Daylight Farms and Rebecca Galbraith’s Slip Sliding Away, trained by James Toner, was fourth in her Sunday debut in a turf route at Saratoga.
More recently named juveniles
CRSEVEN: Chestnut colt (foaled February 8) is the first from the Elusive Quality mare Avila Road, a full sister to multiple Grade 1 star and successful sire Quality Road. Second dam Kobla is in turn a full sister to champion Ajina. Florida-bred juvenile RNA’d for $240,000 at OBS March after drilling an eighth in :10 (click for video) at the under tack show.
HOMELAND: Chestnut colt (April 28), a half-brother to 2017 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) shocker Bar of Gold, sold to Cromwell Bloodstock for $500,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. His dam, the Grade 3-winning Khancord Kid by Lemon Drop Kid, is herself out of a full sister to Yankee Gentlemen (American Pharoah’s broodmare sire) from the family of champion Shared Belief. The New York-bred is working at Belmont Park for Hall of Famer Bill Mott.
J Z MY MAN: Bay colt (February 27) is out of multiple stakes victress and Grade 3-placed J Z Warrior. Dam is a Harlan’s Holiday half-sister to Grade 1-winning stakes producer A Z Warrior and fellow graded scorers Jojo Warrior and E Z Warrior (both Grade 1-placed). The $575,000 Keeneland November weanling purchase by Scott and Evan Dilworth RNA’d at last summer’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale for $800,000, where he was consigned by Vanmeter Gentry Sales, agent. Offered by Bobby Dodd, agent, at Fasig-Tipton’s Gulfstream Sale in March, he worked an eighth in :10.3 and sold for $410,000 to Dilworth/Van Meter Racing.
JUULSTONE: Bay colt (February 21) is the second registered foal from Grade 3 winner Hessonite by Freud, from the immediate family of New Zealand champions King’s Rose and Anabandana as well as Qatari celebrity The Blue Eye. $495,000 RNA at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga is working at Fair Hill.
MANDATORY: Chestnut colt (March 5) is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 star and $2.3 million-earner I’m a Chatterbox. Son of the multiple stakes-placed Lost Soldier mare Chit Chatter negotiated a furlong in :10.4 at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale (bonus video by ThoroStride) and sold for $400,000 to trainer John Kimmel, agent for Tobey Morton. Now working at Saratoga.
MY HAPPY GIRL: Gray filly (February 19) is the second foal from Grade 3 heroine and multiple Grade 1-placed My Happy Face, by Tiz Wonderful. $300,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by Clay Scherer, agent, was on the worktab at Los Alamitos for Bob Baffert through July 27.
NEW PIONEER: Bay colt (March 13) is the second foal produced by the multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Iotapa. The Afleet Alex mare was acquired by China Horse Club for $2.8 million at the 2014 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
ORSAY: Chestnut filly (March 22), who commanded $1.2 million from OXO Equine at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, is out of multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Life at Ten. The Malibu Moon mare, from the family of influential sire Relaunch, is also responsible for Grade 2-placed Singing Bullet. Orsay was a pinhook home run for Brian Graves’ Blue Sky Stables, which first purchased her for $500,000 as a weanling at Keeneland November. Now working at Saratoga for Chad Brown.
SHE’SAMERICANMADE: Bay filly (April 13) is out of the multiple Grade 1-placed stakes winner Bonnie Blue Flag, a Mineshaft half-sister to multiple Grade 1 queen Diamondrella. The $200,000 RNA at Keeneland September ultimately fetched $150,000 from Kimmel, agent for Thirty Year Farm, at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic in May, where she strode a quarter in :23 at the under tack show. Now working at Saratoga.
TOASTNJAM: Dark bay filly (January 28) is out of the First Defence mare Toast to Ashley, a maternal relative of American Pharoah’s sire Pioneerof the Nile. Auction veteran brought $220,000 as a Keeneland January yearling but declined to $180,000 at OBS last October and most recently was gaveled down to Walden Bloodstock for $90,000 at OBS June after drilling a quarter in :21.2.
ZERO TO SIXTY: Chestnut filly (April 29) out of Grade 1 vixen Cat Moves by Tale of the Cat hails from the same female line as 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) hero Hootenanny and reigning Santa Anita Derby (G1) victor Roadster. RNA’d for $100,000 as a Keeneland November weanling but sold for $320,000 as a yearling the next September. The Columbine Stable purchase recorded a lone work at Churchill June 30.