Anne M. Eberhardt

Amberspatriot First Winner for Awesome Patriot

Quick Kentucky-bred filly won debut by a length at Keeneland over males.

Spendthrift Farm's freshman sire Awesome Patriot  got his first winner April 19 at Keeneland, where Amberspatriot won a $60,000 maiden special weight going 4 1/2 furlongs by a length over males.

The juvenile filly out of the winning Limehouse  daughter Starkey was bred in Kentucky by Jim and Pam Robinson's Brandywine Farm and was offered through the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale, where she was bought back for $1,300. Starkey has now produced two winners from as many starters. Her first foal is Midway Playa, a 3-year-old colt by American Lion .

Amberspatriot found her way to the barn of trainer John Hancock and is owned by Donna Hancock and Charles Brown. She has been working steadily since Feb. 5 at Riverside Downs near Henderson, Ky., and signaled she would be a contender in the field of eight other colts and geldings with two works in :47 and change at Keeneland April 8 and April 14.

The filly went off as the 2-1 second choice to Vital, the first starter for Ashford Stud's freshman sire Shanghai Bobby , who is owned by Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Stonestreet Stables. Vital was the even-money favorite coming out of the barn of Wesley Ward.

Amberspatriot stalked the early leaders Baytown Lex and Vital through much of the race as the frontrunners took the field through fractions of :23.03 and :46.48. Baytown Lex held the lead until a sixteenth from the wire, when Amberspatriot kicked past the gelding to win by a length in a final time of :52.59.

Other juveniles in the field representing freshman sires included Orbatron, by Claiborne Farm's Orb , who races for L and N Racing with trainer Steve Asmussen; and another Awesome Patriot runner named Reaganzie, who is raced by Patience Jazdzeweski and Christa Colli and trained by Willima Helmbrecht.

Awesome Patriot is 9-year-old son of Awesome Again —Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy, who was bred in Kentucky by Richard Santulli's Colt Neck Stables. He sold as a yearling during the 2009 Keeneland September sale for $350,000 to the Lanni Family Trust. Trained by Bob Baffert, Awesome Patriot made seven starts and won the Alydar Stakes at Hollywood Park. 

Because of his pedigree, B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm acquired Awesome Patriot in the summer of 2013. His dam is a full sister to top sire Tiznow  and is also the dam of grade 1 winner and fellow freshman sire Oxbow , who stands at Calumet Farm. Awesome Patriot stands for $2,500 this year.