Lukas: 'American Pharoah Could Very Well Be A Very Prominent Sire Of The Future' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Lukas: ‘American Pharoah Could Very Well Be A Very Prominent Sire Of The Future’

American Pharoah

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is scheduled to be represented by his first Oaklawn starter, American Butterfly, in Sunday's featured eighth race for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The 6-furlong first-level allowance race is for 3-year-olds and has an $86,000 purse.

American Pharoah was North America's leading first-crop sire in 2019, with American Butterfly among his 27 winners. American Pharoah's progeny earned $2,703,916 and his four stakes winners included unbeaten Four Wheel Drive in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2).

“I think that American Pharoah could very well be a very prominent sire of the future,” Lukas said before training hours Saturday morning. “I've even gotten to the point where I said he could replace A.P. Indy at some point. I think he's doing really well. Everybody I talk to like the foals. I don't have a skin in the game. I don't own any of them and that's a hell of a commercial, to be perfectly honest. But I think he's really going to be a force in the industry.”

Lukas has two other offspring of American Pharoah at Oaklawn, both colts.

Unraced Fifty Grand, co-owned by noted college football television analyst Kirk Herbstreit, returned to the work tab Wednesday morning, covering 3 furlongs in :36.80. Lukas said he's in no hurry with Fifty Grand, but mid-March is a “fairly reasonable target” for his debut. Pharoah Cat, winless in three starts last year, is more advanced in his training and will run earlier at the meet, Lukas said.

“American Butterfly doesn't look like him (American Pharoah),” Lukas said. “The other two look exactly like him physically.”

American Butterfly will be making his first start since finishing third in an entry-level allowance sprint Nov. 30 at Churchill Downs. American Butterfly broke his maiden Aug. 17 at Saratoga and ran sixth in his two-turn debut, the $500,000 Breeders' Futurity (G1), Oct. 5 at Keeneland.

“He's doing very well,” Lukas said. “I even thought about maybe going long with him right away, but I opted for a conditioned race short. So, we'll see where we've got him and then maybe look at something more serious.”

Another Oaklawn-based unraced son of American Pharoah is Chain Mover for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. A half-brother to millionaire and multiple Grade 2 winner Smooth Air, Chain Mover has had six published workouts since Dec. 18, including a 5-furlong move in 1:01.80 out of the gate Tuesday morning. Prominent Arkansas owners Alex and JoAnn Lieblong purchased Chain Mover for $400,000 at Keeneland's 2018 January Horses of All Ages sale.

“He's certainly not a sprinter,” Alex Lieblong said, adding Chain Mover is nearing his career debut.

American Pharoah won Oaklawn's $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) en route to the 2015 Triple Crown for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Retired in 2015 after winning 9 of 11 career starts, American Pharoah stands at Ashford Stud in Kentucky. His stud fee is private.

Probable post time for Sunday's eighth race is 3:52 p.m. (Central). There is a special first post, 12:35 p.m., because of the Super Bowl.

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