The American Pharoah Stakes was run on September 26 at Santa Anita.
This was the first Road to the Derby prep race that was on around 2 corners. I think this type of race is much more indicative of future success than a 6-furlong race. A race that’s around 2 corners is just a lot longer. You also need some early speed to get to a good position by the first turn if the starting gate is close to the first turn, so this was a good prep race in my opinion. It’s still a little early, so these horses are still learning how to race. A lot of them only have a few races under their belt.
The start seemed to be good. No one had a bad start from what I could tell. Get Her Number got off to a great start going from the outside to get right on the outside of the leader by the first turn. The one horse who looked to not get a great start was Notable Exception who seemed to get a little too close to Dyn O Mite and had to back off but immediately joined the pack after a couple of weird strides.
The first turn came quickly. Basically, once the horses got into their stride, the first turn came and they were battling for position on the turn. Dyn O Mite was the early leader in that race. For a horse who’s first was a sprint at 4.5 furlongs, it’s no wonder he took the early lead. Notable Exception got into a good position on the first turn sitting a few lengths back against the rail. He might have exerted himself a little too much on that start though.
The backstretch was uneventful. No one was battling for any positions more than normal. Rombauer went from the back of the pack into striking distance on the outside on the backstretch. Most of the horses kept their position other than that.
The turn for home is never dull. This was no different. Get Her Number and Rombauer both make bids here. Other horses did as well, but they tired too early and weren’t that exciting in this race. Both made their bids 2 and 4 wide respectively.
The Home Stretch
The home stretch was pretty spread out from the kicks on the turn. The two in the lead took off and no one else was a factor for the win. Speilberg started the stretch with some speed but wasn’t able to make up ground on the other two. He was able to hold off some bids for an in the money finish from his competitors.
What Stuck Out
Waspirant stuck out to me for a bit. The jockey was very relaxed on his mount on the back stretch and didn’t seem to ask anything until the turn. He was a little bit on the outside so that might have explained his tiring on the stretch. Solid 4th position finish thought.
Rombauer ran a great race, in my opinion, he ran from the back of the pack almost the whole race and closed with some speed. He showed the fastest final 1/4 time in that race at 25.91. He also had to cover a bit more ground than Get Her Number and finished a respectable 3/4 lengths off the winner. Rombauer is a horse to watch out for in future Derby Prep races. He even had a respectable finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. His late speed will be something to watch out for in future races.