Pricey Cezanne Wins Big in Return to the Races

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Cezanne | Benoit Photo

Cezanne (Curlin), who topped the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale in 2019 at $3.65 million, stamped himself as one to watch for this year with a dominant victory in Santa Anita's GIII Kona Gold S. Sunday evening. A debut winner going this same 6 1/2 furlongs last June, the Coolmore partners and St. Elias Stable representative doubled up going a mile at Los Alamitos in July. He was most recently fourth in Del Mar's Aug. 1 Shared Belief S. behind million-dollar stablemate Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile) and $850,000 GISW Honor A. P. (Honor Code). The hulking bay had been working very quickly for this, and was off as the 9-5 second choice in a field of four behind last-out GII San Carlos S. hero Brickyard Ride (Clubhouse Ride).

Away cleanly but last from the rail, Cezanne sat third some

10 lengths behind the fleet-footed Brickyard Ride as that foe zipped through splits of :21.18 and :43.60 with Cezanne's stablemate Ax Man (Misremembered) applying pressure. Cezanne cruised ominously closer heading for home as the pacesetter was clearly feeling his early exertions. Brickyard Ride came well off the fence entering the lane, and Cezanne cut the corner and seized the lead before running up the score to 9 3/4 lengths. Brickyard Ride held second over Fight On (Into Mischief).

“It worked out well,” said rider Flavien Prat. “We had a fast pace in front of us and we were able to save ground.  He gave me a good kick when I asked him. He ran really nice.”

Jimmy Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert, added, “We knew there was going to be a hot pace. Not sure how fast, but it ended up being fast, and you know Cezanne just ate them up.  [Prat] gave him a wonderful ride and Bob had him ready… With the races coming up this spring and summer, we should be looking really good with Cezanne.”

Sunday, Santa Anita
KONA GOLD S.-GIII, $98,000, Santa Anita, 4-18, 3yo/up, 6 1/2f, 1:14.71, ft.
1–CEZANNE, 122, c, 4, by Curlin
          1st Dam: Achieving, by Bernardini
          2nd Dam: Teeming, by Storm Cat
          3rd Dam: Better Than Honour, by Deputy Minister
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($3,650,000
2yo '19 FTFMAR). O-Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick
Smith & St Elias Stable; B-Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. &
St. Elias Stables, LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Flavien Prat.
$60,000. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-0, $123,000. *1/2 to
Counterforce (Smart Strike), SW, $323,708; and Arabian
Hope (Distorted Humor), GSW-Tur, SW & G1SP-Eng, $227,783.
Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating:
   A+++ *Triple Plus*.
2–Brickyard Ride, 126, c, 4, Clubhouse Ride–Brickyard Helen,
by Southern Image. O/B-Alfred A. Pais (CA); T-Craig Anthony
Lewis. $20,000.
3–Fight On, 124, h, 6, Into Mischief–Havenlass, by Elusive
Quality. ($340,000 Ylg '16 KEESEP). O-C T R Stables LLC
(Calvert) & Westside Racing Stable; B-Haymarket Farm LLC
(KY); T-Doug F. O'Neill. $12,000.
Margins: 9 3/4, 1 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 1.90, 0.60, 20.90.
Also Ran: Ax Man. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Cezanne was a :10 flat breezer at Gulfstream. Coolmore's M.V. Magnier was also involved in the acquisition of three of the next five lots. With the auction having been cancelled last year due to the pandemic, representatives of Coolmore bought two colts at last month's sale–the $2.6-million Nyquist topper and $1.3-million Uncle Mo third topper.

Pedigree Notes:
Cezanne is the 70th stakes winner, 40th graded, for super sire Curlin–who was also responsible earlier on the card for dominant Baffert-trained firster Curvette. Cezanne is bred on a potent cross also responsible for last year's GI Coaching Club American Oaks winner Paris Lights and leading 2021 GI Kentucky Oaks contender Clairiere.

Bernardini sits at 11th on the broodmare sire list for 2021 with significantly fewer mares than the majority of older counterparts above him. His ever-growing list of stakes winners as a broodmare sire sits at 49 (28 graded), and includes this year's GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational S. hero Colonel Liam (Liam's Map).

The winner's dam Achieving is a great granddaughter of Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour. Achieving produced a full sister to Curlin in 2019. Vinnie Viola's St. Elias has had serious success with sons of Curlin, including GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero Vino Rosso and this year's GI Curlin Florida Derby winner Known Agenda, who is GI Kentucky Derby bound.

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