Expensive American Pharoah Colt Cruises in Futurity

7th at BEL, Gr. Stk, $150,000GIII Futurity S. (6f)Winner: Four Wheel Drive, c, 2 by American Pharoah

Four Wheel Drive | Sarah Andrew

Four Wheel Drive, who graduated while making his racetrack debut in the Rosie’s S. at Colonial Downs Aug. 31, became American Pharoah’s second graded stakes winner Sunday when he coasted home to victory in the GIII Futurity S. at Belmont Park. The six-furlong race is a ‘Win and You’re In’ event for the GII Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Four Wheel Drive broke sharply and was briefly on the lead before settling into second as the freewheeling Jack and Noah (Fr) (Bated Breath {GB}) stormed out to a clear lead and pulled his way through fractions of :21.62 and :44.33. Four Wheel Drive was poised to strike at the top of the lane, gradually wearing down the pacesetter to take the lead with a furlong to run and draw clear despite drifting out. Freewheeler closed for second, while Embolden just nipped Jack and Noah for third.

Four Wheel Drive could become the first Breeders’ Cup starter for Sam Ross and Mike Hall’s Breeze Easy, which was forced to scratch G2 Norfolk S. winner Shang Shang Shang (Shanghai Bobby) the morning of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

“Hopefully, he comes out of the race well,” said Hall. “It will be our first Breeders’ Cup starter. We had Shang Shang Shang last year, but she came up a little off the day of the race, so hopefully, this one makes the dream come true.”

Of Four Wheel Drive’s trip in the Futurity, Hall added, “The plan was for him to just sit chilly. Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] knew he had a lot of horse. He just made his move when he needed to.”

Four Wheel Drive pressed the pace before striding home a 3 1/4-length winner in the 5 1/2-furlong Rosie’s S. over the Colonial Downs turf course in his only previous trip to the post.

Pedigree Notes:

American Pharoah now has three stakes winners–all on turf. In addition to Four Wheel Drive, he has been represented by G3 Prix du Bois winner Maven, and Skidmore S. winner Another Miracle. The Triple Crown winner is also the sire of Group 1 placed Monarch of Egypt and Grade I placed American Theorem.

The late Olin Gentry signed the ticket on Funfair when the mare sold in foal to Scat Daddy for $350,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February sale. Four Wheel Drive sold to Hartley/DeRenzo for $525,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale before RNA’ing for $825,000 following a furlong work in :10 flat at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale.

Four Wheel Drive is Funfair’s most recently reported foal. She was bred to American Pharoah this year.

The winner’s third dam, Flamboyance, produced multiple graded stakes winner Dynever (Dynaformer), as well as the dam of GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Furthest Land (Smart Strike).

Sunday, Belmont Park
FUTURITY S.-GIII, $150,000, Belmont, 10-6, 2yo, 6fT, 1:08.07, fm.
1–FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, 122, c, 2, by American Pharoah
1st Dam: Funfair (SW), by More Than Ready
2nd Dam: Fleuron, by Distant View
3rd Dam: Flamboyance, by Zilzal
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($525,000 Ylg ’18 FTSAUG;
$825,000 RNA 2yo ’19 FTFMAR). O-Breeze Easy, LLC;
B-Glenvale Stud (KY); T-Wesley A. Ward; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr.
$82,500. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $142,500. Werk Nick
Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Freewheeler, 120, c, 2, City Zip–Zia Zia Zia, by Dehere.
($120,000 Ylg ’18 SARAUG; $430,000 2yo ’19 FTFMAR). O-NK
Racing; B-John Lauriello (NY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $30,000.
3–Embolden, 122, c, 2, The Factor–Silver Heart, by Lion
Hearted. ($27,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP; $95,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR).
O-Dare To Dream Stable LLC (Michael Faber); B-Nancy L
Terhune & Ernest Frohboese (VA); T-Michael Stidham.
Margins: 3, HF, NO. Odds: 0.95, 5.50, 5.10.
Also Ran: Jack and Noah (Fr), Another Miracle, Tomato Bill. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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