July 18, 2024

Juveniles Andthewinneris, Private Creed book Breeders’ Cup spots at Keeneland

Andthewinneris got his ideal conditions in the Bourbon (Photo by Coady Photography)

Andthewinneris bounded into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) with a potent kick in Sunday’s $348,125 Bourbon (G2), and Private Creed captured the $244,688 Indian Summer S. to secure his spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1). Both colts continued the weekend theme of setting stakes records over a firm Keeneland turf course.

Bourbon (G2)

Susan Moulton’s homebred Andthewinneris thrived on the return to Keeneland, the scene of his outstanding debut on Apr. 28 for Wayne Catalano. The well-named son of freshman sire Oscar Performance capped an excellent opening weekend for connections, who also landed Friday’s Phoenix (G2) with Manny Wah.

Andthewinneris didn’t have the right set-up in his two ensuing starts. Switched to dirt for the July 4 Bashford Manor S. at Churchill Downs, he wound up a distant third behind Gulfport. Andthewinneris reverted to turf while stretching out in the Aug. 31 With Anticipation (G3) at Saratoga, which in principle should have suited him to a tee. But the specific circumstances – a paceless affair on a rain-affected course – did not suit at all, and he settled for third again.

The Bourbon gave Andthewinneris the quick conditions he desires, both in terms of race shape and ground. Breaking from the far outside post 12, the 4.09-1 favorite was allowed to find his rhythm in the latter part of the field early.

Panama was winging through splits of :22.34, :45.81, and 1:10.89. Deer District prompted throughout and took over in the stretch, but his advantage was brief.

Flavien Prat had gotten Andthewinneris into top gear on the outside, and the blaze-faced bay stormed 2 3/4 lengths clear. By completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.27, he lowered the stakes mark of 1:42.42 that had been established by Gateman (1999) when the race was called the Hopemont S.

Deer District did well to hold second from the closing Really Good, who was a half-length up on Rarefied Flair. Next came Our Dream Rye’d; With Anticipation upsetter Boppy O; slow-starting Reckoning Force; Accident; B Minor; pace attendant Gigante; Panama; and Hendrickson. All four also-eligibles – General Jim, Mendel’s Secret, Oscar Award, and Zaici – were withdrawn.

Prat said that he was going to let the tactics play out as the race developed.

“It was all depending on the way he was breaking out of the gate and the pace,” the winning rider said. “The pace was good, and I was able to tuck myself inside a bit. I was traveling really well all the way around, and when I tipped him out he really gave me a great turn of foot. Wayne told me he was going to run great, and he was right.”

“100 percent,” Catalano said of expecting a win from Andthewinneris. “The way the horse was training, I thought we were going to win the race. Obviously, it’s horse racing and anything can happen, but I go in thinking we can win. The horses feel it. Everything went like I planned. Today we had pace and everything came together like it should. When you make a plan and everything comes together, it’s a great time.”

Andthewinneris improved his ledger to 4-2-0-2, $282,243. The Kentucky-bred was offered as a yearling at Keeneland September, but RNA’d for $67,000. Out of the Scat Daddy mare Run Like the Boss, he hails from the extended family of multiple Grade/Group 1 star Ivar. Another Keeneland aficionado, Ivar was runner-up when trying to regain his title in Saturday’s Coolmore Turf Mile (G1).

Indian Summer S.

Private Creed wins the Indian Summer (Photo by Coady Photography)

Mike McCarty’s Private Creed swooped to his second straight stakes victory in the Indian Summer, held over the same 5 1/2-furlong course as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

In his prior start in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Sprint, the Steve Asmussen pupil floored odds-on Sharp Aza Tack. Private Creed toppled another favorite here, the 1.81-1 No Nay Hudson, in similar fashion. No Nay Hudson became the popular choice after the scratch of his Wesley Ward stablemate, Love Reigns.

Private Creed, the 2.64-1 second choice, was reserved in midpack by Joel Rosario. The Jimmy Creed colt was just about three lengths off the pacesetter, Ghent, in quick fractions of :21.68 and :44.39. No Nay Hudson, who chased out wide, accosted Ghent down the lane and worked to subdue him.

Just as the favorite was getting the upper hand, Private Creed rolled past them both to win by three-quarters of a length. His time of 1:02.30 represents a new stakes record, albeit for a race that took on its current form in 2018.

Mo Stash erupted from the back of the pack in a hard-charging second, but had to survive an objection. He rallied by the eventual fifth, Mounsieur Coco, whose trainer, Fausto Gutierrez, claimed foul. There was contact between them at the start, when Mo Stash broke in and dropped back to last. The stewards took a look at the stretch run and allowed the result to stand. The head-on view, in either case, didn’t appear to warrant a change.

The most eventful aspect of Mo Stash’s trip was what he did to himself. The green colt had so much late momentum that he almost ran up on to No Nay Hudson’s heels. Jockey Rafael Bejarano had to redirect him into the seam between Private Creed and No Nay Hudson. By that point, he was not near enough to affect Mounsieur Coco.

“I had a beautiful position this time,” Bejarano said of Mo Stash. “We broke really nice. He was right behind with the speed. When I asked him to go, he started running. He should’ve won easily if he hadn’t started lugging in down the stretch. It’s the first time he’s done it. I tried to make it, but I never had a chance to fully ride in the end.”

No Nay Hudson checked in third, another length behind Mo Stash, and the same margin ahead of Ghent.

“He broke a little awkwardly,” jockey John Velazquez said of No Nay Hudson, “and when he got up he wanted to run off. I tried to settle him the best I could. In the last sixteenth of a mile, he just came up a little short.”

Mounsieur Coco’s rider, Tyler Gaffalione, commented on his vantage point.

“It was not the cleanest trip,” Gaffalione said. “My horse got squeezed out of the gate. I wanted to be a little more forward, but we played the hand we were dealt. He finished up good down the lane – just a little green with that being his first time behind horses.”

Mounsieur Coco was followed by Bourbon Therapy, Kbcya Later, Revere Note, early presser Numero Seis, and Castelmola.  

Private Creed has lost only once, when a troubled third in the Aug. 19 Skidmore S. at Saratoga. The bay, who subsequently donned blinkers for his stakes wins, has earned $509,313 from his 4-3-0-1 line.

“With the addition of blinkers, he’s 2-for-2, so we definitely like that,” Asmussen aid.

“He acts like he’d go farther, but with the success he’s having sprinting, we’re very happy to keep doing this with him for now.”

Bred by Sierra Farm in Kentucky, Private Creed is out of the stakes-winning Sky Mesa mare South Andros. The $45,000 Keeneland September yearling commanded $155,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic Sale in May.