G1 Goal for New American Pharoah Stakes-Winner
Triple Crown hero American Pharoah is back in Australia this spring and posted a new juvenile stakes-winner in the US on Monday when progressive colt Mackinnon (2c American Pharoah x Scat Means Go, by Scat Daddy) took out the $102,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes (1m).
Backed into favouritism for his first attempt at Black type, the Doug O’Neill trained colt raced wide throughout but hit the line hard for Juan Hernandez to win by a length and three-quarters taking his overall record to two wins and a second from four starts.
“He broke his maiden in a manner that we were hoping this day would come, but you never know,” O'Neill said.
“So much credit to the owners being so patient and Juan (Hernandez) being so patient with this colt. I was a little bit concerned as the race unfolded.
“I knew that Optimising was the X-factor. I knew he was in from Europe and had been working well and had great connections and was in a great spot. But when Juan called on Mackinnon and he responded I started smiling. If he stays injury free the [Nov. 5 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf] is the goal.”
Mackinnon was a $200,000 purchase at last year's Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase and was passed in at Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream this year after breezing a furlong in :10 2/5, but later sold for $285,000 in a private transaction.
Mackinnon is the first winner for stakes-placed Scat Daddy mare Scat Means Go.
He becomes the 21st stakes-winner for American Pharoah, whose oldest Australian progeny are three year-olds this season.