Undefeated in two starts so far, Saxon Warrior won the Sept. 24 Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (G2) at Naas and earned 10 points on the new European Road to the Kentucky Derby.
The 2-year-old Japanese-bred son of Deep Impact chased fellow Aidan O'Brien trainees Kew Gardens and Delano Roosevelt through the early going of the one-mile test. Under jockey Ryan Moore, favored Saxon Warrior took the lead in the five-horse race a furlong out and kept on strongly toward the wire to finish a length ahead of Delano Roosevelt. The final time was 1:46.45 over the soft going.
It was the second win for the colt, who is owned by the Coolmore connections of Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor. The win was the 17th overall and sixth consecutive for O'Brien in the Beresford.
Bred by Orpendale, Chelston, and Wynatt, Saxon Warrior is out of the group 1 winning Galileo mare Maybe, European champion 2-year-old filly of 2011.
The Beresford awarded European Road to the Kentucky Derby points of 10-4-2-1 through fourth place.
Similar to the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, the European Road to the Kentucky Derby is a series of seven races separate from the 35 Road to the Kentucky Derby races in North America. The 3-year-old with the most points at the end of the European series will be awarded a place in the starting gate of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).