Kentucky-breds stole the show from coast-to-coast Saturday at Del Mar and Saratoga, winning all three Grade 1s offered at the summer’s two premier race meets.
Higher Power took the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1), Del Mar’s marquee race, while the brilliant 3-year-old filly Cambier Parc rolled to victory in the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (G1) on the turf. At Saratoga, it was Dunbar Road’s turn to shine in the $600,000 Alabama S. (G1), winning by nearly three lengths on a sloppy main track.
Worth noting is that all three registered their first Grade 1 victories, and for Higher Power, the first stakes win of any type.
Higher Power, a son of Medaglia d’Oro out of the Seatlle Slew mare Alternate, was bed by Pin Oak Stud. Alternate, a three-time stakes winner and half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner and Canadian Horse of the Year Peaks and Valleys, has been a tremendous broodmare as well, producing the millionaire and multiple graded winner Alternation and the two-time stakes winner Interrupted.
Higher Power got a perfect stalking trip in second behind Quip for the first seven furlongs, then willing took the lead and rolled home to score by 5 1/4-emphatic lengths. The victory also guaranteed the 4-year-old a starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) as part of the association’s Win and You’re In series.
Higher Power sold to his owner Hronis Racing for $250,000 at this spring’s Keeneland April Sale.
A half-hour before Higher Power’s win, Medaglia d’Oro got his first Grade 1 winner of the day when Cambier Parc scored a popular win for her owner OXO Equine. Already a two-time graded winner before Saturday, the 3-year-old came from well off the pace to score by 1 1/4-lengths in the 1 1/8-mile contest.
Bred by Bonne Chance Farm, Cambier Parc is out of the Canadian Horse of the Year and $1.7 million earner Sealy Hill, who has been a prolific producer as well: accounting for graded stakes winners Belle Hill, Gale Force, and Hillaby, the latter a Canadian Sovereign Award winner.
Cambier Parc sold for $1.25 million to her connections at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Dunbar Road became the 11th Grade 1 winner for Quality Road with her 2 3/4-length tally in the Alabama. Like Cambier Parc, she is trained by Chad Brown and came from well off the pace to secure the win. Winner of the Mother Goose S. (G2) earlier this summer, Dunbar Road has won four of five starts and earned $587,900 for Peter Brant.
The winner was bred by Jeffrey Drown and is out of Gift List, a daughter of stake winner Private Gift and from the same family as standouts Secret Status, Alumni Hall and Private Status. Dunbar Road sold for $350,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling sale.