Four Wheel Drive Gives American Pharoah First Breeders’ Cup Winner In Juvenile Turf Sprint

by | 11.01.2019 | 4:33pm
Four Wheel Drive, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., wins the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on Breeders’ Cup Championship Friday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on November 1, 2019. John Voorhees/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders’ Cup/CSM

Breeze Easy's Four Wheel Drive became champion American Pharoah's first Breeders' Cup winner at stud on Friday, leading all the way in the Juvenile Turf Sprint to kick off the World Championships. The Wesley Ward-trained 2-year-old colt was favored at 3-2 in the 12-horse field, and completed five furlongs in 55.66 seconds over Santa Anita's firm turf course. At the wire, jockey Irad Ortiz had the still-undefeated Four Wheel Drive 3/4-length ahead of 12-1 chance Chimney Rock.

“We got it,” Ward said. “It's great for the owners, fantastic for Coolmore, fantastic for everyone that put a lot of money behind American Pharoah. There is a lot riding on him as far as how his progeny will turn out. For this horse to turn out to be a Breeders' Cup winner is sensational. He (Four Wheel Drive) is a real cool dude. He takes it all in. He popped right out like a real professional horse will and he kind of settled. When (Ortiz) called upon him, away he went.”

Four Wheel Drive broke very sharply and raced straight to the front of the field, leading by over a length into the turf. Chimney Rock and Dr Simpson were the next closest pursuers, chasing the leader through a first quarter in 21.55 seconds.

Rounding the far turn, Four Wheel Drive maintained his lead and was clear through the sixteenth pole. Chimney Rock started to make up ground from there, but could only cut the winner's margin to 3/4-length at the wire. Another Miracle, also by American Pharoah, filled out the trifecta, defeating the winner's stablemate Kimari by a head for the show.

The remaining order of finish was: Dr Simpson, Encoder, Dream Shot, Alligator Alley, Cambria, A'Ali, King Neptune, and Band Practice.

Bred in Kentucky by Glenvale Stud, Four Wheel Drive is out of the stakes-winning More Than Ready mare Funfair. The colt was a $525,000 yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, and earlier this year RNA'd for $825,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-year-old in training sale. Debuting in a stakes race at Colonial Downs, Four Wheel Drive delivered a 3 1/4-length victory in his first start. Next he won the G3 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park, earning his way into the Breeders' Cup field. Overall, the colt has won all three of his career starts for earnings of nearly $750,000.

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