Sunday Double for American Pharoah
Himiko (3f American Pharoah x Untouched Talent, by Storm Cat) made easy work of an Allowance Optional Claimer at Del Mar on Sunday when romping home by 6 ½ lengths to give American Pharoah the first half of a Sunday double.
Racing over 6 ½ furlongs for Grand Family Farm, the well-bred filly raced just off the lead for much of the run. As they entered the stretch, Himiko put her head in front and that ended the race. In the final furlong, Himiko looked more like she was out for a morning workout than a race as she pulled away to win by 6 ½ lengths.
The filly has now won two straight by a combined 8 ¾ lengths under trainer Bob Baffert’s tutelage.
A $1 million weanling purchase at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton November Sale by Narvick International from breeder Eaton Sales, Himiko is the latest in a long line of talented horses from her family.
The filly is a half-sister to Grade I winner and multiple classic-placed Bodemeister and dual Grade I-placed Fascinating among Grade III winner Untouched Talent’s six winners. It was a top day for Himiko’s multiple graded stakes winning granddam Parade Queen, who is also the granddam of dual Grade I winner She’s a Julie, who brought $3 million at Sunday’s Fasig-Tipton November Sale.
Untouched Talent has a weanling colt by Justify and returned to that stallion for 2021.
Himiko was one of two winners for American Pharoah on Sunday with 2-year-old Royal Mission (2f American Pharoah x It’s All Me, by Congrats) winning a Maiden Special Weight at Hawthorne as well.
Racing in fourth, three lengths off pace in the six furlong dirt race, Royal Mission launched her attack in the stretch where she found another gear late to race past the leader and win by 2 ¾ lengths.
Bred by Twin Hopes Farm and owned by Mellon Patch Inc, the filly was making her third career start for trainer Michael B. Campbell.
The first foal out of It’s All Me, Royal Mission’s dam is a half-sister to stakes winners Smokin Forest and Scholastic Giant in addition to Grade III-placed Turnbolt. A great-granddaughter of stakes winner and top broodmare Fulbright Scholar, Royal Mission comes from the family of Uncle Mo’s champion and Grade I Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist among others.
It was the second win of the weekend for a runner by American Pharoah and out of an A.P. Indy granddaughter alongside the Listed Fort Springs winner Merneith, who won only a little over 24 hours before this victory.
The leading sire of his generation, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah had a good weekend with three winners – including Merneith in the Qatar Fort Springs Stakes – and Harvey’s Lil Goil finishing a close third in the Grade I Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.