Cafe Pharoah Defends G1 February Stakes Title
Café Pharoah (5h American Pharoah x Mary’s Follies, by More Than Ready) won his second straight Grade I February Stakes on Sunday with a 2 ½ length victory in the Tokyo race.
Racing over a muddy track going a mile, Café Pharoah was happy to race just a few lengths behind the leader in about fourth. Racing around the turn, jockey Yuichi Fukunaga took his mount wide with Café Pharoah looming alongside dual Grade I winner Sodashi in the stretch.
The colt still had graded stakes winner T M South Dan to overtake once he put Sodashi away but that one didn’t give much of a fight as Café Pharoah flew past him in the final sixteenth. By the time the field crossed the line, Café Pharoah had the win well in hand.
He was only the second horse to win two editions of the race and earned a berth into November's Breeders' Cup Classic.
Boasting a record of six victories in 11 starts with five stakes wins, Café Pharoah is trained by Noriyuki Hori for Koichi Nishikawa.
A U.S.-bred for the late Paul Pompa, Café Pharoah is one of two Grade I winners for the multiple graded stakes winning Mary’s Follies alongside Regal Glory. Mary’s Follies is also the dam of multiple Grade III winner Night Prowler.
The horse was sold for $475,000 as a 2-year-old in 2019 before moving to Japan and won his 2-year-old debut in his only juvenile start before recording three stakes victories in his 3-year-old season.
Mary’s Follies was sold at last year’s Keeneland January Sale for $500,000 to BBA Ireland and bred back to American Pharoah for a full sibling to Café Pharoah.
American Pharoah continues to impress every year with Café Pharoah his fourth graded stakes winner of the year – more than any other North American or European stallion in 2022 – with six stakes performers overall this year.
Japan Racing Association Photo