Gazelle Produces Yet Another Longshot Winner on Oaks Trail

Less than 24 hours after Defining Purpose (Cross Traffic) caused a 20-1 boilover in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland, Promiseher America (American Pharoah) followed suit with another long-odds victory in Saturday’s GIII Gazelle S. at Aqueduct.

Taking a steep rise in class, having graduated by better than a half-dozen lengths going this track’s one-turn mile Feb. 19, the $75,000 OBS April graduate was alertly away and settled just off the flank of the rail-drawn Capella (Quality Road) through a half-mile in a moderate :49.60 as favored Occult (Into Mischief) raced with the pace three wide. Asked to claim the front-runner nearing the stretch, Promiseher America wrested command with about a quarter mile to travel, but soon had Occult breathing down her neck. The 26-1 outsider–the only horse to jump at a double-digit quote–turned back that challenge passing the eighth pole and Charging Girl (Dialed In), a latest fourth in what is shaping as a productive renewal of the GIII Honeybee S. Feb. 25, began to find her best finishing kick down the center of the track. But Promiseher America had just enough to narrowly annex the final local GI Longines Kentucky Oaks prep.

“She was super impressive last time and I said, ‘Let’s go the nine furlongs. We can always go back to the [first-level allowance] if we need to,’” said trainer Ray Handal, winning his first graded stakes. “But I like the idea of two turns. She’s just built like a two-turn kind of horse. She obviously had to step up. It was one of those races where whoever took the biggest step forward would win this race today and she was in the realm of them and she hung on.”

Pedigree Notes:

Promiseher America is the 20th worldwide winner at the graded/group level for her sire and 34th black-type winner overall. She is also the 221st stakes winner and 114th graded or group winner out of a daughter of the influential Unbridled’s Song. She is inbred 4 x 3 to GI Kentucky Derby hero Unbridled.

On behalf of his clients Robert and Lawana Low, Jacob West acquired Promisedyouheaven for $370,000 with this filly in utero at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton November Sale, where the mare’s then-weanling colt by Practical Joke fetched $240,000 from OXO Equine. Second dam Hurricane Bernie, winner of the 2007 Canterbury Park Lassie, is a half-sister to Mizdirection (Mizzen Mast), two-time winner of the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Promisedyouheaven is the dam of a yearling filly by Curlin and is due to Constitution for her foal of 2023.

Saturday, Aqueduct
GAZELLE S.-GIII, $250,000, Aqueduct, 4-8, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:51.41, ft.
1–PROMISEHER AMERICA, 118, f, 3, by American Pharoah
                1st Dam: Promisedyouheaven, by Unbridled’s Song
                2nd Dam: Hurricane Bernie, by Sea of Secrets
                3rd Dam: Deceptive, by Clever Trick
2yo ’22 OBSAPR). O-Hoffman Thoroughbreds and Tom F.
McCrocklin,; B-Robert & Lawana Low (KY); T-Raymond Handal;
J-Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. $137,500. Lifetime Record: 4-2-1-0,
$198,138. Werk Nick Rating: C+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Gambling Girl, 118, f, 3, Dialed In–Tulipmania,
by Empire Maker. ($200,000 Ylg ’21 SARAUG). O-Repole
Stable; B-Gallagher’s Stud (NY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $50,000.
3–Shidabhuti, 120, f, 3, Practical Joke–A. P. Candy,
by Candy Ride (Arg). 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($77,000 Wlg
’20 KEENOV; $310,000 Ylg ’21 KEESEP). O-Peter M. Brant;
B-Gabriel Duignan & Gerry Dilger (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.
Margins: HF, 1HF, 2. Odds: 26.50, 5.70, 3.05.
Also Ran: Capella, Occult, Frosty O Toole.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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