World Approval stalked an early lead successfully to take the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes under Julien Leparoux on Preakness Saturday at Pimlico. The Mark Casse trainee sat outside early frontrunner Security Risk behind an easy pace and took command heading into the stretch, winning comfortably by 2 1/4 lengths.
“He was relaxed and I knew he was going to finish,” Leparoux said. “After that it was a question if someone could out-kick him. But going that slow and the kick he has at the end, it's tough for the ones from behind to catch him.
“He was really good last year. Maybe one of two races weren't that good, but he won a Grade 1 last year. This year I think he's the same or better, and we'll have a good year with him.”
The Live Oak Stud homebred came to the race off a win in the EG Vodka Turf Classic Stakes at Tampa Bay in early April, his first start off a layoff over the winter following a disappointing finish in the G1 Canadian International at Woodbine. The Dixie makes for the Florida-bred's eighth career win from 20 lifetime starts, including victories in the G1 United Nations, G3 American Derby, and G3 Saranac. His earnings now top $1 million.
World Approval is the 5-year-old gelded son of Northern Afleet and With Approval mare Win Approval. World Approval is a half brother to champion Miesque's Approval and multiple graded stakes winners Revved Up and Za Approval.
Projected was second, followed by Blacktype and Catapult. The final time for 1 1/16 miles on the turf course, which was rated as good, was 1:43.15. See the full chart here.
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