Mackinnon American Pharaoh Zuma Beach

Mackinnon Makes Easy Work of Zuma Beach

Mackinnon (2c American Pharoah x Scat Means Go, by Scat Daddy) led home a Coolmore America-sired top two in Sunday’s Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita with an impressive display.

Proving to be a strong turf miler, Mackinnon was making his third start at the distance and again made it clear he’s a dominate force in California with the victory.

The juvenile raced near the front of the field early on before having to check quickly when clipping heels down the backstretch. He quickly regained his position and bided his time as Caravaggio’s Silver Surfer took command in the far turn. Switched to the outside, Mackinnon quickly ended Silver Surfer’s hopes of a stakes victory as he motored on by to win by 2 1/2 lengths under hands and heels in the final furlong.

“We didn’t get the most ideal trip,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “He was a little green early but Juan said once we got the first half mile behind us, he settled nicely and as you could see, he finished up real well. If he comes out of this in good shape, it’s on to the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Turf).”

Trained by O’Neill for ERJ Racing, Madaket Stables, and Dave Kenney, Mackinnon has now won three of five starts with one other top two finish.

The colt is out of the Grade III-placed Scat Means Go, who is a granddaughter of stakes-placed Ashley Anne’s Wish.

The victory came one race before American Pharoah’s daughter As Time Goes By finished second in the Grade II Zenyatta Stakes.

Mackinnon is one of seven juvenile stakes winners and 17 2-year-old stakes horses for American Pharoah with five of those winning at the graded stakes level. They are led by his Group I winning son Van Gogh.