American Cleopatra is two-years-old. She recently joined the barn of Bob Baffert, though most people will know her as American Pharoah’s younger sister. If you like to bet on horse racing, then you probably know exactly who American Pharoah is.
And it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out why American Cleopatra, Pharoah’s sister, would attract so much attention, especially from the horse racing crowd. All the attention that Cleopatra is attracting is primarily due to the fact that she is about to make her first attempt at winning a stakes race.
If all goes well and she wins a berth in the process, she will be doing so in the Grade 1, $2 million 14 Hands Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies next month.
Cleopatra joined the Barn at Bob Baffert in early June. The move was clearly good for her because she won her first race at Del Mar a month later. The $16.00 paid to win under jockey Stewart Elliot was quite generous.
Cleopatra quickly made the move to a Grade I Stakes Race. The Del Mar Debutante last month really treated her well. Not only was she the clear favorite at the event but she came in second, only losing to Union Strike and only by 2 ¼ lengths.
Cleopatra doesn’t have any particularly difficult challenges in her immediate future; at the very least she won’t have to worry about that particular rival on Saturday at Santa Anita.
That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have anything to worry about, not when Cleopatra is looking to face against 11 other two-year-olds. Of course, with all the hype surrounding Cleopatra at the moment, everyone expects her to capture the Breeders Cup with some effort.
Cleopatra is in good hands because she gets to rely upon Elliot once more on her journey down the path to victory. Elliot has a decent record, having led Smarty Jones to various wins in the Kentucky Derby as well as the Preakness in 2004.
Cleopatra is a product of Zayat Stables; these are the same people who own her Triple Crown-winning older brother. American Pharoah first emerged on the season at auction. This was seven months before Cleopatra was born and before Pharoah was bought back by its owners for a lot of money.
Pharoah is a prestigious horse with a powerful heritage, having been sired by Pioneer of the Nile. Pioneer of the Nile was also owned by the Zayats. Irish Pharoah, a yearling full brother to American Pharoah and American Cleopatra was sold privately this year.
Zayat Stable has made quite the reputation for breeding some of the best horses in the business. American Cleopatra has a lot to live up to. Siblings of accomplished racehorses rarely meet the standards set by their famous siblings.
So if Cleopatra actually lives up to and exceeds expectations, she will cement her place in the horse racing industry as one of the greats. Victory at the Grade 1, $300,000 Chandelier Stakes will grant Cleopatra an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Cleopatra’s chance to prove that she has her brother’s talent is quickly approaching.