American Lion roars home in Hollywood Prevue
By Steve Bailey
WinStar Farm’s American Lion came off the rail in the turn and charged down the stretch to a half-length victory in the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) for two-year-olds on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
The bay Tiznow colt won for the second time in three career starts and captured his first stakes victory for trainer Eoin Harty. He entered the seven-furlong race off a 6¾-length win in a maiden special weight race at the same distance on October 18 at Keeneland Race Course.
"This horse is very sensible, but he's still unfocused,” Harty said. “Coming down the stretch, he was flicking his ears and looking at everything. But there's plenty of time to correct that before Derby Day, if we get that far.
“At the three-eighths pole, I thought he was in trouble. It looked like he was under a ride and going nowhere. But he got to running in the lane."
Macias broke sharply and went right to the front, taking the field through fractions of :22.59 for a quarter-mile and :45.81 through a half-mile as American Lion stalked the pace from third under jockey Julien Leparoux.
Still third in the stretch, American Lion made his bid three wide and surged ahead near the final sixteenth, holding off a game charge by Get My Fix to cover the distance in 1:22.49.
"This was a good learning experience for him,” Leparoux said. “He needs to learn more and he's still a big baby. That's good, though, because he's still winning.
“When the other horse came up to him at the wire, he just took off again. It's not like's he's tired or anything. He's just a little green, but he's a nice horse."
Get My Fix finished three-quarters of a length in front of Seattle Ruler with Macias another 1¼ lengths back in fourth.
With two victories and a runner-up finish in his three starts, American Lion boosted his earnings to $95,600. He is the first starter out of the winning Storm Cat mare Storm Tide, who is a full sister to stakes winner Weather Warning.