It appears Phoenix Thoroughbreds may have a progressive filly on their hands as Craft Woods broke her maiden second time up with victory at Keeneland on Friday.
A staying on second over six and a half furlongs on her debut at Kentucky Downs the step up to a mile worked the oracle as Mike Maker’s charge dominated the 12 runner field. It was front running at it’s best as the two-year-old went wire to wire to claim Race Seven on the opening day of the fall meeting.
Maker engaged Jose Ortiz for the ride, and the rider soon had his mount cruising to an early lead as the field covered the short run to the opening bend. Travelling powerfully, Ortiz allowed Craft Woods to roll along out in front setting an even tempo. With a few rivals throwing out distress calls as they reached the far turn, Ortiz just allowed his partner to have a little more rein, and the filly stretched into a clear lead. The gap back to her nearest pursuers was four-lengths as she reached the top of the stretch with that margin increasing as she ticked off the furlongs. Urban Fairytale tried to chase down the long-time leader, but the race was already won.
A daughter of Coolmore’s Declaration Of War, Craft Woods is the first foal out of winning mare Moanin. Purchased by Phoenix Thoroughbreds at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale in 2018 she is from the same family as Dubawi.
The Dubai based owners will be hoping this is a sign of things to come at Keeneland this weekend. Life On The Road and Mystic Lancelot are gunning for Breeders’ Cup places lining up in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and Indican Summer Stakes respectively.