TDN RISING STARS

July 31, 2016 - Del Mar, Race 3, Msw, USD $63,000, 5 1/2F

American Cleopatra, F, 2, 2014 by Pioneerof the Nile

1st Dam: Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman
2nd Dam: Exclusive Rosette, by Ecliptical
3rd Dam: Zetta Jet, by Tri Jet

Owner: Zayat Stables LLC
Breeder: Zayat Stables LLC (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert

On Aug. 9, 2014, a horse called American Pharoah debuted as the 7-5 favorite to begin his career on a winning note at Del Mar, but after showing good early pace that afternoon, he dropped away to finish well back in fifth. Just once beaten thereafter, American Pharoah, the champion 2-year-old and 3-year-old of his generation, won a total of eight Grade I events, including the Triple Crown, the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic en route Horse of the Year honors and $8,650,300. Social media had chronicled the life of the Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner’s full-sister American Cleopatra from her early days, with people as close to the horse as owner Ahmed Zayat wishing to temper the obvious public sentiment. Sunday afternoon, the 2-year-old filly did what her full-brother could not, kicking home late to score by two lengths to become the newest ‘TDN Rising Star.’ Off at an almost-inconceivable 7-1, perhaps given the presence of the well-touted Jeweled (Sidney’s Candy), American Cleopatra jumped well and took up a perfect stalking position from second. Never off the bridle, she kicked for home leaving the quarter pole, took a comfortable advantage into the final eighth of a furlong and stayed on well to account for Union Strike (Union Rags), herself a $375,000 OBS April graduate. “I knew she had been training very well. My concern was just that the race was a little short for her, going 5 1/2 furlongs,” commented Zayat Stables’ Racing Manager Justin Zayat. “She trains like she is a two-turn filly and I thought she’d want to go longer. So that was our concern. We knew she was training very well going into the race. I thought if she finished second or third in her debut it wouldn’t be the worst thing and then we’d stretch her out, but once she hit the lead I said, ‘wow’ and I got goosebumps. She has a very very good mind. And that was the thing that I think made American Pharoah so great was his mind. And she has always been a very relaxed, smart horse and always doing things the right way. Physically, she doesn’t really look like him much, but mentally they are very similar.” Zayat was unable to make it to Del Mar owing to the death of his grandfather in Egypt, but said the win was “very emotional and uplifting for my dad and the family.” As for future goals, he added, “We’ll probably look at the [seven-furlong GI] Del Mar Debutante [Sept. 3]. We’ll see how she trains, but that’s the next stepping stone and we’ll probably aim towards that. It would be super exciting to be in a Grade I with her. When you have a good 2-year-old there is nothing like it. There is always something to look forward to. That’s what we live for. That’s why everyone is in the game because when you get a 2-year-old–3-year-olds and 4-year-olds are exciting–but when you have one that is really young and wins her debut like that, you can start dreaming.”Littleprincessemma was purchased by Summer Wind Farm for $2.1 million out of the 2014 Fasig-Tipton November mixed sale in foal to Pioneerof the Nile and foaled a colt Feb. 13, 2015, now named Irish Pharoah. She produced a Tapit filly already named Chasing Yesterday this past Feb. 13 and returned to Pioneerof the Nile for her 2016 cover. The siblings’ second dam, the stakes-winning Exclusive Rosette (Ecliptical), is herself the dam of GSW & GISP Misty Rosette (Stormin Fever). Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $37,800.

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