Fi Fi Pharoah Wins Melair Stakes
It was a second straight victory for Fi Fi Pharoah (3f American Pharoah x My Fiona, by Ghostzapper) on Saturday at Santa Anita when her win in the Melair Stakes gave American Pharoah his 17th stakes winner.
Going off as the favorite in the 1 1/16 mile dirt race with Umberto Rispoli aboard, Fi Fi Pharoah immediately took back out of the gate to race in last place, She was comfortable in that spot as two runners broke a few lengths clear from the rest of the field to enter their own battle.
Fi Fi Pharoah started slowly moving through the field in the final three furlongs and made a bold move to circle the field as they passed the quarter pole. Sher went from last to nearly first when entering the stretch just behind the new leader.
That leader refused to give in but Fi Fi Pharoah had her number and in the final sixteenth pulled away to have half a length on the runner up at the line. This was the second stakes performance for Fi Fi Pharoah, who was also second in the Evening Jewel Stakes in April.
It was the second win in five starts for Walther Solis-trained Fi Fi Pharoah, who races for breeder Terry Lovingier alongside Lovingier’s co-owners Tom Beckerle and Amanda Navarro.
“You can’t have a more special day," said Lovingier. "To breed them and then foal them out at the farm, to watch the birth, I mean she stood up in 15 minutes, she’s probably about 165 pounds right away. I have video of her nuzzling me from the moment she stood up, there’s nothing better. It’s just great.”
Fi Fi Pharoah is one of two winners from two to race out of three-time stakes winner My Fiona. That mare is one of three winners out of multiple stakes winner A Vision In Gray with the extended family including Australian Group II winner Flowerdrum.
Fi Fi Pharoah was one of two big winners for American Pharoah on Saturday with American Patrol (3c American Pharoah x Soothing Touch, by Touch Gold) winning over a mile on dirt at Delaware Park by an easy 9 ¾ lengths in an Allowance Optional Claiming event.
American Pharoah’s 17 career stakes winners and 10 graded stakes winners are three better than Constitution, with American Pharoah leading every stakes category on the Thoroughbred Daily News Leading Third-Crop Sire list.