American Sprint Champ Elite Power Gives Dettori And Juddmonte The Victory In Riyadh Dirt Sprint

Elite Power | Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Mathea Kelley


Named the 2022 Eclipse Champion Male Sprinter, Juddmonte's Elite Power (Curlin) picked up right where he left off with an easy 3 1/4-length score in the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint Presented By Sports Boulevard. The favorite held fellow American-bred challenger and GI Hopeful S. hero Gunite (Gun Runner) in second in the $1.5-million 1200-meter race.

In between horses as Meraas (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) showed the way, the $900,0000 Keeneland September yearling raced in the last third of the field away from the kickback in the center of the track. Piloted by veteran jockey extraordinaire Frankie Dettori, who rode Juddmonte's star mare Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) and is riding his final season, the 5-year-old had about five lengths to make up at the 500-metre mark. The Italian said go a few strides later, and Elite Power unleashed a strong turn of foot to motor right by his rivals before the final furlong and win as he pleased. Gunite also made steady late progress to take second, another two lengths to the good of Remake (Jpn) (Lani). The victory marked the first time a Breeders' Cup winner had landed a Saudi Cup day event, and it was the first time an American-based horse had made the winner's circle in the Dirt Sprint.

Dettori, who had also finished second in the G3 Saudi Derby Presented By Boutique Group aboard Havnameltdown (Uncaptured), and filled the same spot later in the evening with Country Grammer (Tonalist) in the G1 Saudi Cup, said, “My first word has to be aeroplane. I was a little out of reach and asked him to get a little closer and then the turbo just kicked in and I was a passenger then. He's a very laid-back horse and only does what you ask him to do but wow he has some turn of foot.

“The Abdullah family has given so much to the sport; the legacy keeps going. I love these colors and it's nice to give the locals something to cheer about.”

Neil Poznansky, assistant to trainer Bill Mott, said, “He's a big strong animal. He shows nothing but class. He shipped over here like he was here his whole life. He's a good horse, a very good horse. His turn of foot is incredible, he's just incredible to watch, a magnificent animal.

“He's really coming into himself and getting better as he was really slow to mature. Now he's putting it all together. Bill doesn't come here without reason but bringing a horse like Elite Power is a good reason to come. For Frankie and Juddmonte it was like a whole dynasty thing.”

Comparatively lightly raced, Elite Power's victory was his sixth in a row. After an allowance optional claiming win at Saratoga in September, he ran out a 5 3/4-length winner of the GII Vosburgh S. at Belmont Park a month later, and secured his first top-level tally in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 5.


Pedigree Notes:

One of the best dirt sires standing in America, dual Horse of the Year Curlin also thrived in desert conditions, taking the 2008 G1 Dubai World Cup. The Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa stallion has 93 stakes winners (51 graded) to his credit. Of Curlin's 20 Grade I-winning offspring, 11 trace tail male to Seattle Slew, and Elite Power is out of a Vindication mare, just like three-time Grade I winner and GI Preakness S. winner Exaggerator.

Broadway's Alibi won the GII Forward Gal S. and GIII Comely S. and was second in the GI Kentucky Oaks in 2012. Put in foal to Curlin's sire Smart Strike, the dark bay made $2.15 million from Alpha Delta Stables when offered as part of the E. Paul Robsham Stables dispersal during the 2013 Keeneland November Sale. The lone runner out of his dam, Elite Power has a 2-year-old full-brother, and Broadway's Alibi is carrying to City of Light.

GI Florida Derby hero Dialed In (Mineshaft) is a half-brother to the winner's granddam, Astoria S. heroine Broadway Gold (Seeking the Gold). Elite Power's fourth dam is American Champion Juvenile Filly Eliza (Mt. Livermore), who collected both the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and GI Santa Anita Oaks, and was second in the GI Kentucky Oaks.

Saturday, King Abdulaziz (Riyadh), Saudi Arabia
RIYADH DIRT SPRINT PRESENTED BY SPORTS BOULEVARD-G3, $1,500,000, King Abdulaziz, 2-25, 3yo/up, 1200m, 1:11.01, gd.
1–ELITE POWER, 126, h, 5, by Curlin
1st Dam: Broadway's Alibi (MGSW & GISP-US, $521,500), by Vindication
2nd Dam: Broadway Gold, by Seeking The Gold
3rd Dam: Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat
($900,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Juddmonte; B-Alpha Delta Stables (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Lanfranco Dettori; $900,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. Male Sprinter-US, GISW-US, 9-6-0-1, $2,305,711. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free catalog-style pedigree.
2–Gunite, 126, c, 4, Gun Runner–Simple Surprise, by Cowboy Cal. O/B-Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Steven Asmussen; J-Tyler Gaffalione; $300,000.
3–Remake (Jpn), 126, c, 4, Lani–Sariel (Jpn), by King Kamehameha (Jpn). O-Koji Maeda; B-North Hills Co., Ltd. (Jpn); T-Koichi Shintani; J-Yuichi Fukunaga; $150,000.
Margins: 3 1/4, 2, 1. Odds: 1.00, 3.50, 4.50.
Also Ran: Justin (Jpn), Dancing Prince (Jpn), Ryuno Yukina (Jpn), Freedom Fighter, Pagan (Ire), Meraas (GB). VIDEO.


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