Phoenix Thoroughbreds were celebrating a double at Ellis Park on Saturday after juvenile colts Something Super, and Life On The Road landed maiden successes.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, the pair were unfancied in the betting but produced excellent performances that saw them both score with a bit to spare over seven furlongs.
The brace began with Something Super showing the benefit of his promising debut at the start of the month to take Race 5 under an excellent front running ride from Shaun Bridgmohan. The son of Super Saver broke a step slow from the gates, but Bridgmohan was keen to take up the early speed and encouraged his mount to the front. Nudged along to keep his early advantage, it initially appeared Something Super might be vulnerable out in the lead, but his pilot judged the fractions perfectly. As his nearest rival, Dark Oak, came to challenge at the top of the stretch the colt pulled out a bit more to take the victory by half a length from the fast-finishing Banks Island.
An hour later, it was the turn of Life On The Road to have his moment in the spotlight, making no mistake under Tyler Baze to win at the first time of asking. Breaking well from the widest gate of all Baze was happy to slot his mount in third place, three to four lengths off the early pace set by the Godolphin owned Amongst. Travelling well down the backstretch Baze and Life On The Road made, what turned out to be, the decisive race-winning move. Drawing upside the long-time leader as they entered the turn, the two rivals pulled clear of the rest of the field and settled down to fight out what looked as though would be an exciting finish. In the end, however, the Phoenix Thoroughbreds owned runner pulled clear to score a decisive victory by three and a half lengths.
The Dubai-based ownership group will be hoping this is a sign of things to come with three more runners to race in the States this weekend.