Showing tenacity in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) for 2-year-olds Sept. 29 at
Steeler covered the one-mile test under Kieren Fallon in 1:35.67 on turf rated "good" while earning his first group victory, improving his record to three wins and two seconds from five starts for trainer Mark Johnston. He is the first graded or group winner for Darley’s freshman sire Raven's Pass.
In contention from the start, the big colt seized the lead three furlongs out and dug in when engaged by Artigiano, who momentarily looked to have his measure with an eighth of a mile to run. Steeler was up for the challenge, however, and shook off his rival inside the final furlong to prevail by a length in his first try beyond seven furlongs.
In a division of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" qualifying series called "Kentucky Derby Prep Season," Steeler amassed 10 points for finishing first and Artigiano earned four in his runner-up finish. Third-place finisher Al Waab was award two points, and fourth-place finisher Birdman one point.
Steeler also earned an automatic starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr.I), but
"The next step will be the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I at Doncaster),”
Steeler, who was bred in
Produced by group III winner Discreet Brief, by Darshaan, the colt is a half brother to stakes-placed winners Doggerbank and Secret Dancer.