Conquest Enforcer, bought for $ 785,000 from the Conquest Stables dispersal at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale last month, gave his new connections a quick return on their investment when the 3-year-old Into Mischief colt went wire to wire to win Monday’s Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile on Santa Anita Park’s opening day program.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, who two races earlier won the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes aboard Constellation, Conquest Enforcer covered one mile on firm turf in 1:33.64 and earned $ 120,000 for Loooch Racing Stables, Imaginary Stables and Raquel Ritchie. Mittersill and Moonlight Drive rallied late to get second and third, respectively. The win was the fifth from eight career starts for Conquest Enforcer, who was bred in Ontario, Canada, by Tall Oaks Farm.
Zach Madden, agent for Loooch Racing, signed the ticket to purchase Conquest Enforcer from Lane’s End, which consigned the dispersal of Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell’s Conquest Stables. Formerly trained by Mark Casse and based at Woodbine, Conquest Enforcer was turned over to California-based Phil D’Amato.
Prat sent Conquest Enforcer straight to the lead but he was quickly engaged by the Casse-trained Blackout and jockey Julien Leparoux. Conquest Enforcer set fractions of :22.91, :46.11 and 1:10.29 under pressure throughout from Blackout, who finally threw in the towel as they passed the furlong marker, the mile clocked in 1:22.07. No one else was a serious threat and Conquest Enforcer drew off from there to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
“I am very happy,” said D’Amato. “He’s settled into our program really nicely and I think the sky is the limit with this horse. Prat is a great fit for him. This horse actually reminds me of Obviously and he guided Obviously to a nice Breeders’ Cup win and hopefully next year we’re doing the same with this horse.”
Prat, who had been sidelined since Nov. 27 because of injury, had just returned from his native France to resume riding in California.
“I can’t ask for better than that,” said Prat. “It was a great day. This horse was very sharp. I just wanted to get him to relax. He broke so sharp, I just wanted him to relax on the lead. He didn’t relax until the backside and then he got going. Phil (D’Amato) said he has a great turn of foot and he seemed so sharp. I was a little worried in the stretch, but he kicked away.”
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