WinStar Farm's homebred 3-year-old Tiznow colt Royal Son powered to an authoritative victory in the $125,000 John Battaglia Memorial S. Feb. 28 at Turfway Park, putting the Todd Pletcher trainee on a path that could take him to the Kentucky Derby.
Royal Son, along with Rebranded’s stakes victory at Sunland Park, provided Tiznow a stakes double on Saturday. Royal Son is one of 15 Tiznow 3-year-olds nominated to the 2015 Triple Crown.
Sent to the front right out of the gate by Rodney Prescott, Royal Son was pressed through fractions of :49.58 for the half-mile and 1:13.79 for the six furlongs by heavy favorite The Great War. Coming into the stretch, Royal Son suddenly sprinted away from the field and cruised under the wire a 5 ¼-length winner in 1:46.84 for the 1 1/16 miles (VIDEO
"I was able to slow the pace for the first part of the race, and I had plenty of horse left in the stretch," Prescott summarized.
"I think the addition blinkers helped him, and it looked like he appreciated the surface," Pletcher assistant Dermott Magnier added. "There's a nice break between this race and the Spiral, so we'll be talking with the owners and probably will come back here."
The $550,000 Spiral Stakes (G3) at 1 1/8 miles is March 21 at Turfway.
Royal Son is out of the stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Mama Nadine. His third dam, T. V. Countess, is the dam of 1997 2-year-old champion filly Countess Diana. Royal Son has earned $133,825 with a mark of 2-2-0 in five starts.