American Cleopatra Wins in Del Mar Debut

July 31, 2016

American Pharoah ‘s little sis got one up on her brother July 31.

Unlike her Triple Crown-winning sibling, Zayat Stables’ homebred American Cleopatra won her debut at Del Mar.

Off at a 7-1, with Bob Baffert stablemate Jeweled taking heavy betting action at 4-5 in the field of eight, the 2-year-old daughter of Pioneerof the Nile out of Littleprincessemma, stalked early leader War Factor, blew by in the turn, and pulled away in the stretch to win by two lengths in the 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight event.

“Those are good genes, there,” Baffert said after the race.

War Factor ran the first quarter in :21.87 as American Cleopatra raced about a half-length off on the outside in second. The bay filly took over to run the half in :45.17 and finished in 1:03.87 under jockey Stewart Elliott.

“We never really turned her loose in the morning, that’s why I thought she might (start slow) … but today, Stewart is really good out of the gate,” Baffert said. “He can really get them away from there and once he got rolling—that was pretty impressive.”

Baffert, who said “she’s a little shorter-legged” than American Pharoah, compared her favorably to her brother in demeanor.

“She’s got a beautiful way of moving and she’s got a pretty good mind,” Baffert said. “She’s a sweetheart at the barn. She’s very sweet and he was sweet. It was a good step forward. She ran pretty fast.”

As for the filly’s odds, the Hall of Fame trainer admitted he was a bit surprised at the price.

“I was sitting there with (my wife) Jill and said, ‘I can’t believe that (filly) is 7-1. What’s going on here?’” Baffert said. “The other filly did work really fast. See, if you don’t brag on them, they go off at 7-1.”

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