American Pharoah: landed Grand Slam but did not win on his debut
PICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos
By Peter Scargill 7:57AM 1 AUG 2016
USA: American Cleopatra might not go on to dominate racing in quite the same manner as her big brother American Pharoah but she will always be able to point to something he never achieved after making a winning debut at Del Mar on Saturday.
Representing the same connections of trainer Bob Baffert and owner Ahmed Zayat who raced Grand Slam winner American Pharoah last season, two-year-old American Cleopatra pulled away in the closing stages to claim the 5½f maiden special weight by two lengths.
The victory means American Cleopatra has made a better start to life than big brother American Pharoah, who could only manage fifth on his debut at Del Mar before going on to make a huge impact during the rest of his racing career
And despite being a sister to the first US Triple Crown winner in 37 years – and the only horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic – American Cleopatra was weak in the betting as she drifted out to 7-1 behind odds-on stablemate Jeweled.
“Those are good genes, there,” Baffert said after jockey Stewart Elliott had steered the filly to victory.
“She’s got a beautiful way of moving and she’s got a pretty good mind. She’s a sweetheart at the barn.”
Commenting on the price, Baffert added on bloodhorse.com: “I was sitting there with [my wife] Jill and said, ‘I can’t believe she’s 7-1. What’s going on?’ See, if you don’t brag on them, they go off at 7-1.”