'Rising Star' First Mission Splashes Home First in Alysheba

First Mission | Coady


LOUISVILLE, KY-Offering a preview of what may be to come in Churchill's next two day's Classics, 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense) continued a power-charged run for trainer Brad Cox when taking the GIII Alysheba S. The win was the second graded win of the afternoon for Cox, who also took the La Troienne S. with Idiomatic (Curlin), and it was the third straight win for jockey Florent Geroux, who also won with Idiomatic and Ova Charged (Star Guitar) in the GIII Unbridled Sidney S.

T O Saint Denis (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}), who was narrowly bested by Kentucky Derby candidate T O Password (Jpn) (Copano Rickey {Jpn}) in a half-mile breeze earlier this week, opened a daylight advantage, cutting out fractions of :22.96 and :46.77 as First Mission saved ground along the rail in third. On the far turn, the GIII Essex H. winner moved into second, and at the top of the stretch, he was still three lengths in back of the leader. The pacesetter retained the lead at the eighth pole, however, First Mission was not to be denied, sweeping by his rival late and drawing clear to win by four lengths. Il Miracolo (Gun Runner) was third. Grade I winner Tapit Trice (Tapit) was scratched.

“When you get in a pace scenario like that, you just have to be patient and ride your race,” said Geroux. “I give a lot of credit to [T O Saint Denis]. He ran a huge race. Deep in the stretch my horse was picking up his stride and he finished very easily.”

Named a 'Rising Star' in his second start at the Fair Grounds in March of his sophomore year, the Godolphin homebred added a win in the GIII Lexington S., and would likely have been a major player in the GI Preakness S. only to be withdrawn on the eve of the race with an injury. A Keeneland optional claimer winner last fall, he was runner-up in the GII Clark S. over this track in November, and was a non-factoring ninth in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. at Gulfstream when returning in January.

After the race, Cox offered, “I felt like we had [the pacesetter] measured. Our horse stays on well and I thought he was going to get there. I was just hoping someone else wouldn't come running on late given the pace early on.”

“I'm proud of the effort,” added Cox. “I think we have him in a rhythm now. I think he's a Grade I-caliber horse, and we believe there is one out there with his name on it, maybe multiples, and this sets us up to take a swing at it.”

Jockey Ryusei Sakai, aboard T O Saint Denis and who will be riding T O Password (Jpn) in the Derby said, “I'm very proud of how my horse ran. This race should be some good experience for me in preparation for tomorrow's Derby.”

Pedigree Notes:
First Mission is the second to race out of Elude, a daughter of Argentine champion and Classic winner Forty Marchanta (Arg) (Roar). The lightly-raced mare was purchased for $105,000 at the 2022 Keeneland January Sale while carrying a full-brother to the winner. Later named Foil, that colt went to Colts Neck Stable for $500,000 at last year's Keeneland September Sale. Elude, who is responsible for a yearling colt by Protonico, was booked to Life Is Good for this term.


Friday, Churchill Downs
ALYSHEBA S. PRESENTED BY TWINSPIRES-GII, $730,000, Churchill Downs, 5-3, 4yo/up, 1 1/16m, 1:42.03, sy.
1–FIRST MISSION, 118, c, 4, by Street Sense
                1st Dam: Elude, by Medaglia d'Oro
                2nd Dam: Forty Marchanta (Arg), by Roar
                3rd Dam: Marcha Toss (Arg), by Egg Toss
'TDN Rising Star'. O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Florent
Geroux. $450,910. Lifetime Record: 8-5-2-0, $1,273,020.
Werk Nick Rating: A+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–T O Saint Denis (Jpn), 118, h, 5, Kitasan Black (Jpn)–Pole
Position (GB), by Pivotal (GB). 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED
BLACK TYPE. O-Tomoya Ozasa; B-Mishima Bokujo (JPN);
T-Daisuke Takayanagi. $126,100.
3–Il Miracolo, 118, c, 4, Gun RunnerTapit's World, by Tapit.
($75,000 Ylg '21 KEEJAN; $190,000 RNA Ylg '21 FTKOCT;
$70,000 2yo '22 OBSOPN). O-Alexandres, LLC; B-Willow Oaks
Stable LLC (KY); T-Antonio Sano. $73,050.
Margins: 4, NO, 3. Odds: 1.07, 27.89, 13.41.
Also Ran: Steal Sunshine, Call Me Fast, Money Supply, Trademark, Pipeline. Scratched: Tapit Trice, Tumbarumba.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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