A 3-year-old Northern Afleet
colt and half brother to champion turf male Miesque's Approval
, World Approval prevailed by a neck in 1:52.92 for 1 1/8 miles on good turf while breaking through at the graded level. He was third to Divisidero
in the American Turf Stakes (gr. II) May 2 at Churchill Downs
after capturing the restricted Sophomore Turf Stakes April 4 at Tampa Bay Downs
for his first stakes victory.
Nun the Less jumped out to lead early in the American Derby, but World Approval was right behind, dogging about a half length back through six furlongs in a modest 1:18.12. Crittenden tracked from fourth along the rail.
Jose Lezcano moved with World Appeal to challenge the front-runner in the upper stretch and seized a slim lead at the furlong marker as Crittenden was shifted out for his run and swiftly closed but could not overtake the winner. Nun the Less stayed on for third, 4 1/2 lengths back.
"There was no pace, so we employed a different strategy," trainer Mark Casse said of World Approval, who closed off the pace to earn two previous wins. "Hopefully there's a little more pace next time so he can come with a later run. He got it done and we plan on being back on Aug. 15 (for the grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes). Good horses win when they have to make changes to get it done."
The top three finishers in the American Derby earned automatic berths in the Secretariat.
Lezcano said he was confident all the way on the 11-10 favorite.
"When I asked him at the quarter and then I opened it up a little early, he had a good kick." Lezcano said of World Approval, who returned $4.20, $3.20, and $2.60. "He went to win the race. He is very good."
World Approval has a 3-0-2 record from seven career starts for owner-breeder Live Oak Plantation, which bred him from the winning With Approval mare Win Approval. World Approval also is a half brother to graded stakes winners Za Approval
and Revved Up