WinStar Farm's homebred 4-year-old colt American Patriot turned in his best race to date in Friday's $300,000 Maker's 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland, flying home from sixth in the final furlong to defeat Heart to Heart by a neck for his first Grade 1 win.
American Patriot's chances in the Maker's didn't look good for the first six furlongs, with the son of War Front stuck between horses several lengths off the lead. Jockey Javier Castellano finally found some running room in upper stretch, and American Patriot kicked into high gear in the final sixteenth, powering by Heart to Heart and Conquest Panthera, who was a nose back in third.
American Patriot covered the distance in 1:34.70 on the firm turf.
“We always felt like he had a lot of potential. He was unlucky to not win a Grade 1 last year,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of American Patriot. “He's trained exceptionally well all winter (at Palm Beach Downs in Florida). He has run well at Keeneland before so we knew he would like the turf course.”
Pletcher was referring to American Patriot's close third-place finish in the Secretariat S. (G1), which came right after his win in the Kent S. (G3) at Delaware Park, his lone graded win to date. Friday's win upped American Patriot's earnings to $475,050, with a record of 5-0-3 in 11 starts.