Forbidden Kingdom (American Pharoah) winning the Gr.2 Joe Hernandez at Santa Anita

Forbidden Kingdom Registers Third Graded Stake Victory

Already a multiple graded stakes winner on the dirt, Forbidden Kingdom (4c American Pharoah x Just Louise, by Five Star Day) added a turf graded stakes victory on Saturday with a win in the Grade II Joe Hernandez Stakes.

The colt was making his first start on the turf since finishing third in the Speakeasy Stakes as a juvenile and again showed how versatile a horse he was in this spot. Racing over 6 ½ furlongs on Santa Anita’s turf course, he wasn’t the first out of the gate but quickly made his way to the lead as the field crossed over the dirt to enter the main track.

Forbidden Kingdom was challenged every step of the way, but refused to give in to his main rival. As they approached the wire, he started to pull away and won by half a length when they hit the line.

Co-owned by MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm, the Richard Mandella trainee now has three graded stakes wins and four other stakes placings in nine starts – including a Grade I second. The victory takes his record to nine top three finishes in 12 starts for $679,500 in earnings.

Bred by Springhouse Farm, he is one of four winners from five to race out of the Grade III winner Just Louise. That mare is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner and stakes producing Sara Louise and out of a stakes placed daughter of Grade III winner and Grade I-placed Til Forbid.

Forbidden Kingdom is the 11th stakes winner for American Pharoah in 2023 with his 23 stakes performers including 16 graded stakes placers, led by a Grade I winner.