Choisir has been running hot this year in both hemispheres and flying the flag for him in the US has been Obviously (4g Choisir x Leala, by Montjeu), a stylish winner of the Group II Arroyo Seco Mile Stakes at Santa Anita on the weekend.
The Mike Mitchell trained gelding won two races in Ireland last year before being purchased by Craig Rounsefell’s Boomer Bloodstock and Jamie Lloyd Bloodstock and sent across the Atlantic where he has been in top form ever since.
A last start winner of the Group II Del Mar Mile, Obviously made it three wins in succession when leading and fighting on strongly to win the mile event on turf by half a length.
He set a course record when winning last start and very nearly did the same on this occasion, zooming along for regular rider Joe Talamo to clock 1:31.95 on the firm turf, just .06 off the record established by Atticus in 1997.
“This is actually the best (Obviously) has relaxed,” Talamo said. “He’s definitely got the highest cruising speed of any horse I’ve ever been on. I still can’t get over that he went the half in :45 and change. That cruising speed of his is unbelievable.
“Pulling up, I had to get the outrider to grab me; he’s just full of run. I’m excited for the Breeders’ Cup with him. I was very confident with my horse today. Mike’s (Mitchell) done a great job keeping him fresh after his races. Going a mile, he’s just unbelievable. “
Obviously has gone from strength to strength this preparation and the best may be still to come.
“They went quick, but the first couple of fractions, they slowed it down a little bit,” Mike Mitchell said.
“I loved how he saved him down the backside a little bit. It was a good horse race. He needed to perform like this today to consider the Breeders’ Cup [Mile] with him, but now, why not?”
Obviously is the first stakes-winner for unraced Montjeu mare Leala, whose dam is a sister to three-time Group I winner Hawkster.
Obviously is one of 44 stakes-winners for Choisir, who narrowly missed siring a Group I winner at Randwick on Saturday after his top colt Proisir(3c Choisir x Prophet Jewel, by Encosta de Lago) went down by a neck in the Spring Champion Stakes.
Choisir stands at a fee of $27,500 in Australia this spring.