Thankful (American Pharoah) wins the Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct

Thankful A Determined Winner of Ladies Handicap

Third in the Grade III Comely Stakes last out, Thankful (4f American Pharaoh x Beholden, by Cat Thief) wasn’t going home without the victory today, digging deep to win the Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Todd Pletcher trainee was content to race a few paths off the rail in the 1 1/8 mile race as she tracked the leader. Never letting the leader getting more than a length ahead, Thankful was closing the margin as they entered the stretch.

It took until the final sixteenth for Thankful to take command, but once she had it, she wasn’t giving it up. Holding off two other runners near the wire, Thankful scored by three quarters of a length in the end.

“We always thought she wanted to go two turns. I was happy to get it done for [owner] Ramona Bass,” said Pletcher assistant Byron Hughes. “She’s starting to run up to her talent level in the morning, which is exciting. She was late developing, but once she started putting it all together, she really started putting it on”

Purchased by Steve Young from Taylor Made Sales Agency at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale for $625,000, Thankful has finished on the board in all but one of her six starts for owner Bass Stables with three wins on her record.

The Profoal Partners 3-bred is the third stakes winner out of the two-time winner Beholden. One of six winners for her dam, Thankful is also a half-sister to Grade III winner Brazen Persuasion and stakes winner Behold De Buy. In all, there are 13 stakes horses under the filly’s first three dams.

American Pharoah now leads all third-crop sires by both number of stakes winners and winners overall in 2021 with the stallion’s Kentucky Pharoah kicking off the Triple Crown winner’s year with a victory in the Dania Beach.