Vyjack and jockey Flavien Prat, right, overpower Om (Gary Stevens), left, and Obviously (Tyler Baze), inside, to win the Grade II, $ 200,000 City of Hope Mile
Pick Six Racing’s Vyjack took down Wise Dan’s 4-year-old course record at Santa Anita on Saturday, speeding through the G2 City of Hope Mile in 1:31.69 under Flavien Prat. The 6-year-old by Into Mischief was well off a blistering early pace on the firm turf course, and just got up to win by a half-length on the wire for trainer Phil D’Amato.
St. Joe Bay and Frank Conversation were quick out of the gate to take the leading positions into the first turn, but a bull-headed Obviously was having none of it and dragged Tyler Baze to the lead to record a first quarter in :21.60. Obviously took a 1 1/2 length lead over Frank Conversation down the backstretch, with Om tucked into fourth and a four-length gap back to Hootenanny in fifth. Vyjack was further back near the tail of a strung-out field. After a half-mile in :43.97, Om moved up to challenge Obviously for the lead through the far turn, and the pair moved through three-quarters just a length apart in 1:07.36.
Obviously still held the lead at the top of the lane, but Om was steadily grinding away at it with each stride. Vyjack came flying late, and was just able to get past Obviously in the final sixteenth of a mile. Vyjack would cross the wire a half-length in front of Om, would Obviously settling for third another half-length back in a course-record setting time. Wise Dan held the old record at 1:31.78.
Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, Vyjack was a $ 45,000 Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Sale purchase in Kentucky. Pinhooked by Pike Racing, he commanded $ 100,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic 2-year-old in training sale. He was once on the Kentucky Derby trail, finishing 18th in the classic, but has been stronger in his turf starts. Interestingly, Vyjack is a half-brother to female turf superstar Tepin; both may well be headed to the Breeders’ Cup next month. Overall, Vyjack boasts a record of eight wins from 27 starts in his career, with earnings of over $ 1.2 million.
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