Another small piece of history will be made at Del Mar on Saturday when the Bob Baffert trained Backshot becomes the first-ever runner in the USA for Phoenix Ladies Syndicate.
Purchased at the inaugural Fasig-Tipton Santa Anita two-year-olds in training sale for $350,000, the Tapitue colt will have the services of legendary jockey Mike Smith in the saddle for his debut effort. Speaking at the time, Phoenix Thoroughbreds CEO Tom Ludt, acting on behalf of the Ladies, said of the new recruit:
“In a small boutique sale, he stood out. I knew he was going to be expensive just because he was the best-looking horse with the best breeze in the sale. He’s got a good walk. It’s later in the year, but he’s got a good, smooth stride and looks fast.”
A half-brother to stakes winner The Money Monster and from the family of graded stakes winner Christmas Boy, Backshot was out on the Del Mar track on Wednesday preparing for his first run by working the second fastest five furlongs on the day, stopping the clock a 1.00:80.
“It’s very exciting for our members,” Said Phoenix Ladies Pamela Cordina. “We have been keen to have runners in America, and we are delighted to get underway on Saturday. We were a big fan of the colt at the sale, and he seems to be working well since joining Bob. We’ve been fortunate with our first runners in both Dubai and the UK, so let’s hope that our luck continues on Saturday!”
Only formed in November 2018 the all-female group enjoyed immediate success with Walking Thunder landing the opening race on the opening day of the UAE season. The Violence colt would go on to win twice more in addition to finishing runner-up in a Group Three before being joined by the Syndicate’s fellow winners, Golden Jaguar and Superior in the UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night. After this initial success “PLS” has gone about expanding their reach into the US, Australia and the UK where notably Forever In Dreams ran second to Advertise in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.