Choisir featured at the weekend with star milers winning on both sides of the Atlantic, Olympic Glory (4h Choisir x Acidanthera, by Alzao) taking the Group I Lockinge Stakes in the UK and US based Obviously (6g Choisir x Leala, by Montjeu) returning to top form in the Grade III American Stakes at Santa Anita.
Winner of the Grade I Shoemaker Mile last year when trained by Mike Mitchell, the talented front runner assumed his customary role and was too good in gearing down on the line to win by five and a half lengths for new trainer Phillip D’Amato.
“The fractions were pretty fast,” said D’Amato.
“But I thought he was going comfortably even though Gary [Stevens] was pushing and shoving on Silentio. I knew by the quarter pole we had a good shot. We didn’t get a gimme today. Gary made us earn it. This is very special. Words can’t describe this.”
D’Amato will look to run Obviously in the Shoemaker Mile [June 14] again and maybe the Breeders’ Cup Mile later in the year.
A winner of 10 of his 19 starts with over $1million in prizemoney, Obviously is the first stakes-winner for unraced Montjeu mare Leala, whose dam is a sister to three-time Group I winner Hawkster.