Four Wheel Drive blazed a trail to stay unbeaten with victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Irad Ortiz jnr, the son of Triple Crown hero American Pharoah was almost immediately on the lead, while in contrast the well-fancied A’Ali had to drop back towards the rear from his draw.
Simon Crisford’s Royal Ascot winner was never able to get in any sort of serious blow under Frankie Dettori, as up front Four Wheel Drive found enough to repel the challenge of Chimney Rock, the mount of the winning rider’s brother, Jose Ortiz.
Ward said: “Chimney Rock was coming right after us and I knew he’d be tough.
“It’s really special, it’s a great feeling.”
He added: “He’s a very talented colt, he’s done nothing wrong so far – he’s three for three and he’s got a big future next year as a three-year-old.
“We’re all really excited about him. To get it done like this on a big stage in the Breeders’ Cup with a colt from the first crop of American Pharoah is just unbelievable.
“It’s well known that I try to go to Royal Ascot and this colt would certainly be one of the favourites next year to do that as we sit here today.”
Dettori said of A’Ali: “(Stall) Ten was a killer for us and you can’t fix the draw – it is what it is. I could never really get him into a competitive spot.”
There was some good news for the Europeans, however, with the Tom Dascombe-trained Dr Simpson running a big race in fifth for Richard Kingscote.
Kingscote said: “She ran an absolute blinder, in a race where we knew they going to go like lightning. She stayed on well in the stretch and I’m proud we managed to be the first home of the European runners.”
Jamie Spencer said of Archie Watson’s Band Practice: “The ground was too firm, it’s as simple as that.”