By Richard Rosenblatt
At $675,000, American Heiress may turn out to be a bargain.
We’ll begin to find out a little more on Saturday, when this daughter of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah makes her long awaited debut in a $55,000 maiden special weight race on Florida Derby Day at Gulfstream Park.
While there’s 10 stakes on the blockbuster 14-race card at Gulfstream topped by the $750,000 Florida Derby (G1) featuring Greatest Honour and Spielberg and offering a total of 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, be sure to check out Race 7 – post time 2:27 p.m.
American Heiress owners MyRaceHorse and B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm surely will be paying close attention to the No 9 horse in a field of 12 maidens, fillies 3-years-old, going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
“This filly is typical of an American Pharoah — a very good personality, very intelligent, laid back, and handles things well,’’ said Ned Toffey, the general manager of Spendthrift, in a 2020 video post on Facebook. “It’s something we saw with American Pharoah throughout his run in the Triple Crown. And this filly seems to have a mind that serves her well.”
Trained by Todd Pletcher, American Heiress is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line behind 7-2 favorite Cadencia, also trained by Pletcher. Hall of Famer John Velazquez rides American Heiress.
“We know we’re going to see a big run of money for American Heiress from the MyRaceHorse owners,’’ BUSR spokesman James Ross said, a reference to the operation that buys horses and sells micro-shares of ownership. “This horse is being hyped to be a superstar like her parents — and she certainly looks to have her father’s famous stretch!
“It’s great to see such enthusiasm from racehorse owners but we’ll cheering Heiress to lose at Gulfstream!”
Purchased at the Keeneland 2019 September Yearling Sale as Hip No. 473, American Heiress was the fifth most expensive American Pharoah to be sold during the sale and the fourth filly.
The American Pharoah sales topper was also a filly, America’s Joy, going at $8.2 million to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm. Others went for $1.3 million, $975,000, and $875,000. American Heiress went for $675,000.
American Heiress has been training for her first race at Palm Beach Downs, with eight workouts posted since Feb. 1. In her latest breeze, the bay filly worked 4 furlongs in 49.31 seconds on March 20 to set her up for Saturday’s race.
The bloodlines are strong for this gal: American Pharoah-Keertana, by Johar. American Pharoah, of course, swept the 2015 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Keertana was a five-time Grade 3 winner who earned more than $1 million with a record of 29-11-6-8. Joha won the 2003 Breeder’s Cup Turf and earned nearly $1.5 million.
“One of the biggest things that you see with an American Pharoah offspring is their walk, and this filly has a wonderful walk,’’ Toffey said. “She’s athletic. When you’re looking at yearlings, you like to see something that looks something like their sire and this filly does that. She’s colored somewhat like American Pharoah. She has a great walk, good size and scope.”
And we’ll get a chance to see how well she runs on Saturday.