WinStar Farm had the top male turf miler of 2016 after Tourist won the Breeders’ Cup Mile last fall, but even with his retirement, the powerhouse stable hasn’t skipped a beat in that regard.
American Patriot and jockey Javier Castellano win the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile by a neck Friday.
American Patriot, skillfully ridden by Javier Castellano under the white WinStar silks, was along in the desperate final yards Friday at Keeneland to nail Heart to Heart in a hotly contested 29th running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile.
“He finished tremendous,” Castellano said after American Patriot completed the two-turn mile in 1:34.70 over a firm course. “It was a good setup, a lot of speed in the race.”
American Patriot returned $23 when coming off a Feb. 17 allowance victory over the Gulfstream Park turf. The 4-year-old WinStar homebred prevailed in what surely was the best lineup of turf milers assembled in North America since the BC Mile last November.
Before a sun-baked crowd of 24,114, Heart to Heart and jockey Julien Leparoux tracked closely in splits of 23.25 and 47.18 seconds, then put away the front-running What a View approaching the quarter pole to quickly open up on his 10 rivals. Even with 100 yards to go, Heart to Heart, an eight-time graded-stakes winner, appeared destined for his first Grade 1 score, but American Patriot gobbled up ground late to win by a neck.
“He ran a great race,” said Leparoux. “I wish he’d won a Grade 1 because he deserves it.”
“You can’t ask for any more than he gave us today,” said Brian Lynch, who trains the 6-year-old Heart to Heart for Terry Hamilton.