Sunday's Insights: Graded Winners Making Sophomore Debuts

Four Wheel Drive | Sarah Andrew

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency

10th-CD, $84K, Alw, 5 1/2fT, 5:44 p.m. ET
Breeze Easy's unbeaten Four Wheel Drive (American Pharoah) leads a stakes-quality field of sophomores while making his first start of 2020. The $525,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga grad and $825,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream buyback debuted a convincing stakes winner at Colonial Aug. 31 before adding Belmont's GIII Futurity S. Oct. 6 and running to favoritism in the GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Nov. 1. Second that day was Chimney Rock (Artie Schiller), who came back to romp in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile S. at Fair Grounds in December before finishing fourth in the Texas Turf Mile S. at Sam Houston in January. In addition to Four Wheel Drive, trainer Wesley Ward will also send out Maven (American Pharoah), a big-figure debut winner at Aqueduct last April who shipped to Chantilly to take the G3 Prix du Bois in June. He's been off since a 10th-place  run in Goodwood's G3 Molecomb S. July 31. Other contenders include stakes winners Jack and Noah (Fr) (Bated Breath {GB}) and Bango (Congrats) and MGSP European import Guildsman (Fr) (Wootton Basset {GB}), who was third in Gulfstream's Texas Glitter S. Mar. 21. Should the race come off the grass, two-for-two Hop Kat (Stay Thirsty) will be dangerous as a main-track-only entrant. He romped by eight lengths in a local dash last May, and resurfaced to take a Gulfstream allowance Apr. 26. TJCIS PPs

6th-SA, $53K, Alw/OC ($62.5K), 6f, 6:06 p.m. ET
Sophomore Collusion Illusion (Twirling Candy) takes on some hard-knocking older rivals in his first start since being pulled up in the GI American Pharoah S. here in September. The $300,000 OBSAPR grad was perfect in a pair of sprints before that, including Del Mar's GII Best Pal S. Aug. 10. MGISP Rowayton (Into Mischief) was last seen finishing fourth by a neck in the GI H. Allen Jerkens S. at Saratoga last August. TJCIS PPs

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