John Oxley’s undefeated Airoforce shored up his spot in the Breeders’ Cup with a win in Sunday’s $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon S. (G3) at Keeneland [VIDEO
]. He joins fellow 2-year-old colt Cocked and Loaded, who also qualified with an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup with a win in last month’s Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill – giving Colonel John a pair of top contender in this year’s juvenile Breeders’ Cup races.
Airoforce, a $350,000 OBS purchase earlier this year by trainer Mark Casse, entered the Bourbon off an impressive 3 ¼-length debut victory last month in a $123,000 Maiden Special Weight at Kentucky Downs. Making his first start around two turns on Sunday, the talented gray colt rallied from just off the pace in a full field under jockey Julien Leparoux to finish clear again at the wire. The final margin this time was 2 ½ lengths over a local course at Keeneland that was listed as yielding after week-long rains. Airoforce stopped the clock in 1:44.12 for 1 1/16 miles.
Bred in Kentucky by Stewart Madison, Airoforce is the first foal out of the Cuvee mare Chocolate Pop. The undefeated and untested colt has already bankrolled $222,000 from just two starts, and likely heads to the $1,000,000 Juvenile Turf (G1) on Oct. 30 as one of America’s best chances against a strong international field.
Colonel John has sired 8 juvenile winners to date from a good crop in 2015, led by the aforementioned pair of graded stakes-winning colts and Breeders’ Cup participants.