American Anthem cruises in the Woody Stephens S. (G2) - EquiSport photo
WinStar Farm's et al. American Anthem got his second straight graded stakes win on Saturday with a commanding 3 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Woody Stephens S. (G2) at Belmont Park.
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Breaking fairly alertly in the Woody Stephens under Mike Smith, American Anthem was well off the fence as he stalked the pace in fourth for the first half-mile. The bay colt powered to the lead while in the four path coming into the stretch, then opened up the lead before Smith geared him down late.
The final time for the seven furlongs was 1:22.14.
“He was moving around the turn but the wind picked up and, man, it's a big, bad headwind around the turn,” Smith explained. “I was out in the open and I just started getting my little body as low as I could just to kind of get through the wind. It was really slowing us. But once I got through it, boom, he took off.”
Owned by his breeder WinStar Farm in partnership with China Horse Club, S.F. Racing et al., American Anthem won the Laz Barrera S. (G3) in his prior start and is now 3-1-0 in six starts and has earned $389,545. The colt is out of Indy Windy, a half-sister to champion distaffer and $2.4 million earner Banshee Breeze.