American Pharoah Standing Shot

American Pharoah’s Thankful Overcomes Rough Start For Saratoga Victory

Thankful (3f American Pharoah x Beholden, by Cat Thief) overcame a rough start on Thursday to break her maiden and become the fifth winner at this year’s Saratoga meet for her sire.

Racing over 1 1/8 miles on the dirt, Thankful stumbled out of the gate and raced a few paths off the rail into the first turn with just one horse beat early in the race. Making up the ground she lost at the break, Thankful was in second by the time they hit the far turn and entered the stretch in front.

With Luis Saez aboard, Thankful had clear sailing in the stretch as she pulled away to win by 3½ lengths as the favorite for Bass Stables and Todd Pletcher.

Bought for $625,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale by Steve Young from Taylor Made Sales, Thankful was bred by Profoal Partners 3.

The filly is a half-sister to Grade III winner Brazen Persuasion and Listed winner Behold De Buy among her dam’s five other winners from seven to race.

Dam Beholden is a daughter of Grade III winner Godmother, who is also the dam of Grade III-placed Cinderella’s Wish. Grade III winners Winter Melody and Ocean Knight are also among the 10 stakes winners under Thankful’s first three dams.

Last year’s Champion Freshman sire is having another top year with eight stakes winners and 13 stakes horses, led by four graded stakes winners, in 2020.