Rockingham Ranch and Chad Littlefield's Conquest Farenheit is proving to be a solid purchase for his new connections and showed his affinity for the turf as he picked up his second win out of three total starts in Southern California.
"What a horse," trainer Peter Miller said. "This is a serious horse. For him to run that way with fast splits and come away like he did is pretty impressive. It showed he could get two turns and it looked like he had another gear. I think we'll try him next in the American Turf Derby at Churchill Downs (G2, 1 1/16 miles May 6)."
Over one mile on the turf rated firm, even-money favorite Conquest Farenheit went out for the early lead with Cistron tracking close in second. Under jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., the leader set fractions of :22.94 and :45.59 through the first half-mile.
Going into the second turn, the remaining field of eight, after Zakaroff was pulled up, began to bunch up and pressure Conquest Farenheit. Jockey Tyler Baze began urging Cistron around the turn, but he never got ahead of Conquest Farenheit who continued to speed through six furlongs in 1:09.46 and maintained a one-length advantage. Into the stretch, Arroyo finally asked Conquest Farenheit to put away his rivals. He responded and finished gamely in a final time of 1:33.58.
Zakaroff, who was pulled up by jockey Joe Talamo after the first quarter-mile, walked off the track.
Conquest Farenheit returned $4.20, $3.40, and $2.60 across the board.
"I love the way he ran today," Arroyo said. "He's still learning. He was waiting for horses in the stretch, pricking his ears back and forth. He settled nice with me today, and I expect him to get better as he goes on. He was full of run with me galloping out."
The bay colt has shown his skill on the turf in previous starts. Last time out in the Feb. 20 Baffle Stakes, he scored by 1 3/4 lengths after stalking the pace on Santa Anita's downhill turf course. He broke his maiden by five lengths at first asking on the Woodbine grass in August 2016 and ran second in the Summer Stakes (G2T) also at Woodbine.
Bred in Kentucky by Meadow Lane Stables, the colt is out of the Holy Bull mare Holy Smokie. He was first purchased as a yearling for $130,000 by his former owner Conquest Stables at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale. As part of the complete dispersal for Conquest Stables, he was sold to his current connections for $735,000 out of the Lane's End consignment to the 2016 Keeneland November sale.
Conquest Farenheit now boasts a record of 3-1-1 from five starts, with earnings of $157,745.