December 7, 2022

Elite Power romps in Vosburgh to secure Sprint berth; American Apple upsets Matron

Elite Power strolled in the Vosburgh (Photo by Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos)

Elite Power easily handled his first stakes attempt in Saturday’s $250,000 Vosburgh (G2), scoring eased up by a 5 3/4-length, and the four-year-old colt will bring a four-race win streak to the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland by virtue of taking the “Win & You’re In” event.

A convincing winner over conditioned allowance foes at Churchill Downs and Saratoga In his last two outings, Elite Power was bet down to 1-2 favoritism in the seven-furlong Vosburgh over four rivals. He broke forwardly under Jose Lezcano, settled an up-close second during the opening stages and began to assert his authority on the far turn, drawing away to a widening advantage as he straightened for home.

“He did it pretty easy today,” Lezcano said. “When I showed the whip at the three-sixteenths, he really took off and went on to win the race very comfortable.”

Lezcano eased up well before the finish, and Elite Power stopped the Aqueduct teletimer in 1:23.98. Bill Mott trains the son of Curlin, a $900,000 2019 Keeneland September purchase, and Juddmonte Farms campaigns the chestnut.

Eastern Bay rallied for second, five lengths clear of Drafted in third. Southern District and early pacesetter Jalen Journey followed.

Elite Power recorded a pair of unplaced finishes versus maiden special weight competition when opening his racing career last fall. Freshened five months, the Kentucky-bred graduated two starts later by a nine-length margin at Churchill Downs in early June.

He showed more early foot in the Vosburgh than recent starts, rallying from off the pace to defeat allowance rivals by open lengths in the last two outings, and Elite Power has now earned $365,711 from a 7-4-0-1 record.

“We didn’t make any big plans as far as where he was going to positioned, although we did note that there didn’t seem to be a lot of early pace,” Mott said. “He broke and he was closer than normal and that didn’t seem to bother him. He was fine where he was at. They went the first half in 47, but you go to a race like the Breeders’ Cup and they’ll go 44.

“He’s a good closer. If he gets a good, fast pace in front of him, he can close going six or seven (furlongs).”

Bred by Alpha Delta Stables, Elite Power is the first stakes winner from the Grade 2-winning Broadway’s Alibi, runner-up in the 2012 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and a daughter of Vindication.

One race later on the Belmont at Aqueduct program, American Apple sprung a 47-1 upset in the $150,000 Matron (G3) for two-year-old fillies at six furlongs on turf. The last-out Kentucky Downs maiden winner surged from just off the pace to a clear lead in upper stretch, and the Daniel Leitch-trained daughter of American Pharoah gamely withstood the late run of 2.55-1 second choice Redifined to prevail by a neck.

Jose Lezcano was up on the bay miss for owner/breeder Kattlerich Stables.

The Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland will be an option for American Apple, who was timed in 1:09.59 over the good turf.

Danse Macabre, the slight 5-2 favorite, was 1 1/2 lengths back in third, and Dontlookbackatall, Personal Pursuit, Sweetlou’sgotaces, How Lovely, Little Linzee, Fleetfooted, Sweet Harmony, and Atomic Girl completed the order.

Unplaced in her first two starts on dirt, American Apple has never run a bad race on turf, and her career mark now reads 5-2-0-1. The Kentucky-bred is out of the Grade 2-placed Clever Trick mare Miss Mary Apples, a half-sister to graded winners Dr. Diamonds Prize and Lady Apple.