American Pharoah’s Wasp Runs Away With Belmont Victory
Wasp (3f American Pharoah x Visions of Annette, by Distorted Humor) came out flying at Belmont Park on Friday when breaking her maiden by 10¼ lengths.
Racing over 1 1/16 miles, Wasp quickly settled into stride on the rail just a little over a length off the leader. Relaxed under Irad Ortiz, Jr., the race favorite was content to watch a duel in front of her down the backstretch. The race complexation changed around the turn as one of the leaders started to tire and Wasp decided it was time to leave go.
Coming up outside the leader, Wasp easily cruised by to take control as they entered the stretch under urging from Ortiz. In the final furlong, Wasp easily galloped home to take the win for A One A Racing and trainer Todd Pletcher.
It was the second top two finish in two starts for the Joanne T. Nielsen-bred filly, who lost her debut by only a neck earlier this month. The New York-bred was in high demand when going through the ring at the Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearlings Sale in 2018 as the second most expensive yearling of the sale and most expensive filly with a $450,000 price tag when purchased by Hartley/DeRenzo from Summerfield.
Wasp is one of two winners from three to race out of her dam, a half-sister to stakes winners Petition The Lady and Saucey Evening. Visions Of Annette is also a half-sister to the dams of dual Grade I winner Evening Jewel and Denman’s Call with Grade I winners General Challenge and Notable Career both under Wasp’s second dam.
Visions of Annette returned to American Pharoah’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winning studmate Mendelssohn this year.
Champion Freshman Sire and leading second crop sire American Pharaoh has had an excellent month with two Grade I winners among his three graded stakes winners and four stakes horses – with another one of those four Group I-placed – in October.