$1-Million Colt a Winner For American Pharoah
Well-bred, $1 million purchase Hong Kong (2c American Pharoah x Mekko Hokte, by Holy Bull) broke his maiden and became his leading freshman sire’s 17th winner on Sunday with a win over six furlongs at Naas in Ireland for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Second last out, Hong Kong broke quickly from the gates and raced to the front under jockey Donnacha O’Brien to challenge for the lead in the middle of the track.
After taking over the race inside the final two furlongs, the colt showed courage when fending off rivals to pull away and win by 1½ lengths over the Zoffany-sired Johan Zoffani and No Nay Never’s Nullifer in a field of 15 for the Coolmore partners.
“He was very lazy the last day and the blinkers helped him to concentrate,” O'Brien told Irish Racing.com. “Donnacha said when he got confident today that he really stretched. He travelled well today and he’ll be a lovely three-year-old. I’d say he’ll get a mile and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get it next year. You would like the way he ran with his head down today and straight.”
Bred by Windmill Manor Farms and Petaluma Bloodstock, Hong Kong was consigned by Paramount Sale at the 2018 Keeneland January Horses Of All Ages sale where he topped all short yearlings when bringing $1 million from M.V. Magnier as the second most expensive offering of the sale.
Hong Kong is out of Listed winning mare Mekko Hote and a half-brother to young Coolmore sire and multiple Group I winner Caravaggio and Grade II winner My Jen.
American Pharoah tops all American first-crop sires with 17 winners including Grade II winner Sweet Melania, Grade III winners Four Wheel Drive and Maven and Listed winner Another Miracle. The stallion is also the sire of nine stakes horses overall including Grade I placed American Theorem and Monarch of Egypt.