A Presidential Display in Two Thousand Guineas
Updated: Sunday, May 7, 2006 1:42 PM
Posted: Saturday, May 6, 2006 11:26 AM
George Washington won the Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) on Saturday by 2 1/2 lengths from Sir Percy and Olympian Odyssey.
A son of Danehill-Bordighera (Alysheba), George Washington was bred in Kentucky by Lael Stables. The farm, owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, completed a unique transatlantic double later on Saturday, when their undefeated colt, Barbaro, won the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith own George Washington.
The colt accelerated at halfway to race away from the 14-horse field. He cruised to the front more than a furlong from home and ran on strongly to make it back-to-back wins for jockey Kieren Fallon and trainer Aidan O'Brien, who won the race last year with Footstepsinthesand.
George Washington went into the race with doubts about his temperament and whether he would stay the straight mile at Newmarket.
But with a burst of speed with four furlongs to go, George Washington, at odds of 6-4, became the first favorite since Zafonic 13 years ago to win the $613,800 race.
The first classic of the English season is followed on Sunday by the fillies' classic, the One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).
"I went a lot sooner than I wanted to," Fallon said. "But he was going, so easy I couldn't sit on him any longer. He's got an electrifying turn of foot. He's done everything; he's a great horse all right."
Fallon had injured his foot after a fall on Thursday.
A 33-1 shot, Olympian Odyssey was the early pacesetter with champion jockey Jamie Spencer onboard and the field bunched as it reached halfway.
Sir Percy, the 4-1 second favorite with Martin Dwyer aboard, tried to give chase when George Washington made his move.
Rather than watch the race from the finish line, O'Brien saw the handlers struggle to get George Washington into the stalls at the start.
"He's a horse who's always thought he was so superior from the time he was born that he developed this attitude that he is absolutely a different class to every other animal around. It's all part of his make up," O'Brien said.
"He's like a child who wants to do something and you want him to do something else, and you are trying to tell him it's the right thing and the child gets confused about it. He has a huge belief in himself."
Araafa finished fourth followed by Isu Bond (5), Final Verse (6), Amadeus Wolf (7), Horatio Nelson (8), Asset (9), Close to You (10), Killybegs (11), Red Clubs (12), Frost Giant (13) and Opera Cape.
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