July 13, 2024

Master of the Seas continues winning ways in Maker’s Mark Mile

Master of the Seas was in supreme command of the Maker's Mark Mile (Photo by Coady Photography)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Master of the Seas aced another North American test on Friday with a strong 2 1/4-length score over Godolphin stablemate Naval Power in the $517,775 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland.

Making his first start since taking the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita by a nose in November with a tremendous late burst from near the tail of the field, Master of the Seas rated much closer in this slower-paced event, contested over a yielding ground.

Third down the backside as Emmanuel set the fractions, Master of the Seas rallied inside that rival in upper stretch under William Buick and was all class in the run to the wire. Naval Power, who broke slow and trailed early, closed to finish 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Integration for second. The order of finish was rounded out by Shirl’s Speight, Emmanuel, and Kubrick.

The Maker’s Mark Mile was the third win in four North American outings for the former European mainstay, who also captured the Woodbine Mile (G1) last fall. In between that victory and the one in the Breeders’ Cup, Master of the Seas lost a heartbreaker in the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland to Up to the Mark, the eventual champion turf male.

“I think the trips to America and Canada have really made a man of him,” Buick said. “Once the gates open he’s the kind of horse you can put anywhere you want. He’s going to have that finishing kick.”

Master of the Seas finished up the mile in 1:37.10 and returned $3.54 to win.

An Irish-bred six-year-old gelding by Dubawi, Master of the Seas is scheduled to be campaigned on this continent this season, according to trainer Charlie Appleby, who mentioned the nine-furlong Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day as a possible next start.

“He’s challenged us over the years with his temperament, being highly strung,” said Appleby of Master of the Seas, who narrowly missed winning the 2021 edition of the classic 2000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket when an entire colt. “With all the traveling he’s done, he’s matured.”

The Maker’s Mark Mile was the ninth win in 17 career starts for Master of the Seas, whose Group wins in Europe, included the Superlative (G2) at two, the Craven (G3) at three, and the Earl of Sefton (G3) at four, all of which were at Newmarket. Last season, prior to his victory in the Woodbine Mile, Master of the Seas won the Zabeel Mile (G2) at Meydan and the Summer Mile (G2) at Ascot.

Master of the Seas was produced by the classic-placed stakes winner Firth of Lorne, a daughter of Danehill who has also reared the Group 3-winning Falls of Lora. The latter’s offspring include Group 1 winners Albahr and Cascadian.

Earlier in the card, Hot Beach led gate-to-wire in the $244,563 Limestone S. for three-year-old fillies, which was transferred from the turf to a sloppy main track.

Making her first start of the season after taking the Ellis Park Debutante and placing in the Pocahontas (G3) and Myrtlewood S. last term, Hot Beach scored by four lengths under Jose Ortiz.

Owned by Boardshots Stables and trained by Brian Lynch, Hot Beach covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.70 and paid $3.98. Zoe’s Prime finished second, one length ahead of Kodiac Wintergreen.