Tipsheet: American Pharoah Stakes 2021

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

September 30th, 2021

An exciting field of seven two-year-old prospects will vie in Friday’s $300,000  American Pharoah S. (G1) at Santa Anita. The competitive 1 1/16-mile contest attracted a precocious bunch of youngsters for the “Win and You’re In” challenge series event, with the first placer earning an automatic entry to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar on November 5. The top four finishers will also collect points on a 10-4-2-1 basis in the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby series.

 American Pharoah Stakes Picks

  • #1 Corniche
  • #6 Rockefeller
  • #2 Flying Drummer
  • #4 Oviatt Class

American Pharoah Stakes Wagers

  • $30 win #1 Corniche
  • $5 exacta key box 1 with 2,6
  • $1 superfecta 1 with 2,6 with 2,4,6 with all

American Pharoah Stakes Contenders

#1 CORNICHE -- $1.5 million purchase looked the part at first asking when leading throughout on debut for Bob Baffert. The Quality Road colt has trained well in the interim, and the good-looking prospect is the one to catch and beat with Mike Smith returning to the saddle.

#2 FLYING DRUMMER – The second of the Baffert trio is a maiden following two runner-up efforts to kick start his career. The $850,000 Gun Runner colt makes his route debut in a salty field, and if he can relax early on, then the gray could be an upset contender late with John Velazquez at the controls.

#3 FINNEUS – The California-bred son of Stay Thirsty has placed in two straight graded tilts with a second in the Best Pal S. (G2) and a third in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) to his credit. The Walther Solis trainee has never run a bad one, and the $200,000 yearling buy can surely be an exotics player if he handles the added ground on Friday.

#4 OVIATT CLASS – The Keith Desormeaux pupil made good in his third start with a going-away victory at Del Mar. The son of Bernardini has improved his Brisnet Speed figure in every career try to date, and another step in the right direction could earn him a Grade 1 share in this spot.

#5 JOKER BOY – This Practical Joke California-bred colt has been spotless from a pair of tries to date for trainer Brian Koriner. The bay led throughout in a stylish I’m Smokin S. victory most recently, and he has already shown the ability to run from on or off the pace with effectiveness. Edwin Maldonado will be up.

#6 ROCKEFELLER -- Baffert’s third entrant broke slowly from the rail on debut but still drew off to a fine score at Del Mar. The $750,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro has a world of potential with additional experience, and he will thrive with the added ground in this event. Flavien Prat picks up the mount.

#7 PAPPACAP – The Mark Casse trainee bagged the Best Pal S. (G2) two back and is clearly good enough to run with these. The bay son of Gun Runner is quick and could be any kind while making his route debut coming off a bullet morning move on the surface recently. Joe Bravo will once again guide the top-three contender.