Exaulted Stays Perfect On The Grass In American S.

Exaulted didn’t even try the turf until his 11th career start back on Jan. 2 but the 6-year-old has more than made up for lost time with his third straight win on the Santa Anita grass course, taking the GIII American S. Sunday.

Entered off a pair of 93 Beyer Speed Figure efforts–a career high–against allowance and optional claiming company respectively, Exaulted earned 9-5 second choice honors for his first graded-stakes race since contesting the GII Triple Bend S. last May. Sent to the front after a sharp beginning from the middle of the gate, the bay was outsprinted to the lead by Bob and Jackie (Twirling Candy) to his inside as the field passed the wire for the first time in the one-mile event. Positioned just off that rival’s hip up the backstretch through an opening quarter in :22.71, Exaulted stayed in that stalking spot as the top pair raced a few lengths ahead of favored Du Jour (Temple City) and Earls Rock (Ire) (Fascinating Rock {Ire}) who raced together in third and fourth. With a slight cue from jockey Juan Hernandez, the 6-year-old began to eat into the margin into the far turn, grinding away until the pair was head and head at the top of the stretch. The field swung out four wide for the battle to the wire but Exaulted had plenty left, pulling clear as 13-1 shot Irideo (Arg) (Easing Along) closed in behind him to be a non-threatening second.

“We just kind of ran out of options,” said winning trainer Peter Eurton.  “He wasn’t running as well as a 5-year-old…[something] just wasn’t right, so I think as a last resort we thought we’d give him a try on the grass.  I think [spacing] is the key for him with a long year.  He is big, he’s heavy…(Juan Hernandez) is just phenomenal, this guy. [He] is riding with no fear, he just so confident in his abilities and it shows you right there and in many other [cases].”

“We broke a little slow because he kind of moved before we broke, but it worked out fine,” added Hernandez. “The other horse went and I just stalked him and I was just really confident in him.  He was in the bridle and around the three eighths, I thought I had a lot of horse.

Pedigree Notes:

A $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling back in 2018, Exaulted becomes the 18th graded-stakes winner for his sire, GI Malbiu S. winner Twirling Candy who had a strong week in the sales ring at OBS March last month, with a colt selling for $1 million and a filly bringing $900,000. This is the female family of GSW Rogue Romance (Smarty Jones) and MGSP Tizbig (Tiznow). Gilded Miracle, herself a half-sister to GSW Wonderlandbynight (Sky Mesa), has not produced a foal since 2019.

Sunday, Santa Anita
AMERICAN S.-GIII, $100,500, Santa Anita, 4-2, 4yo/up, 1mT, 1:33.65, fm.
1–EXAULTED, 120, h, 6, by Twirling Candy
          1st Dam: Gilded Miracle, by Gilded Time
          2nd Dam: Onemiracleatatime, by Gulch
          3rd Dam: Katie Love, by Manila
($77,000 Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $200,000 Ylg ’18
FTSAUG). O-C R K Stable LLC; B-Jack Swain (KY); T-Peter
Eurton; J-Juan J. Hernandez. $60,000. Lifetime Record:
MSP, 14-4-3-4, $303,660. Werk Nick Rating: F. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free
Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Irideo (Arg), 124, g, 7, Easing Along–Infiltrada (Arg), by
Footstepsinthesand (GB). O/B-Pozo de Luna (ARG); T-Marcelo
Polanco. $20,000.
3–Bob and Jackie, 124, g, 7, Twirling Candy–Fateer, by
Eskendereya. ($190,000 4yo ’20 KEENOV). O-Calvin Nguyen
and Joey C. Tran; B-Zayat Stables, LLC (KY); T-George
Papaprodromou. $12,000.
Margins: 1HF, HF, NK. Odds: 1.90, 13.50, 10.30.
Also Ran: Du Jour, Earls Rock (Ire), Vanzzy.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO,
sponsored by TVG.

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