Irish-Bred Gold Phoenix Springs Major Surprise As He Rallies To Take Grade I, $500,000 Frank E. Kilroe Stakes
IRISH-BRED GOLD PHOENIX SPRINGS MAJOR SURPRISE AS HE RALLIES TO TAKE GRADE I, $500,000 FRANK E. KILROE STAKES BY A NECK UNDER KIMURA
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 4, 2023)—With Phil D’Amato saddling four of the eight starters in Saturday’s Grade I, $500,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile, it was his red-hot Irish-bred Hong Kong Harry who commanded most of the attention, as he was dispatched as the even money favorite. However, it was another one of his three Irish-breds, Gold Phoenix, who got the money, as he saved ground to the top of the lane and roared home on top under Japan-born Kizushi Kimura to win by a neck while getting one mile on turf in 1:34.45.
Breaking from the number one post, Gold Phoenix hugged the rail throughout and split horses four-deep at the sixteenth pole with a dramatic late move that ensured victory in the prestigious Kilroe.
Well beaten in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland going a mile and one half Nov. 5, Gold Phoenix was off at 10-1 and paid $23.60, $9.60 and $6.40.
A 5-year-old gelding owned by Little Red Feather Racing, Sterling Stables, LLC and Marsha Naify, Gold Phoenix, who was ridden for the first time today by Kimura, had won the Grade II Del Mar Handicap three starts back on Sept. 3 and notched his first Grade I victory today.
As for the 23-year-old Kimura, who was North America’s Eclipse Champion Apprentice Jockey in 2019, the Kilroe marked his first Santa Anita Grade I victory.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori, Du Jour, who was last early, rallied for the place, finishing three quarters of a length in front of Cabo Spirit. Off at 10-1, Du Jour paid $10.00 and $7.00.
Cabo Spirit, who lacked room heading to the far turn, ran a big race at 37-1 and paid $14.20 to show under Joe Bravo.
Fractions on the Kilroe were 23.08, 47.06, 1:10.55 and 1:22.24.