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US$1.3m Fleming Colt Eyes Kentucky Derby
Australia's Tyreel Stud breeding duo Jim & Dean Fleming have produced a leading US Gr1 Kentucky Derby contender after A.P.Warrior (the colt they bred & then sold for US$1.3 million as a yearling) "put forth a gritty effort in the stretch, holding on for a half-length victory in the US$250,000 Gr2 San Felipe Stakes (8.5 furlongs) for 3YOs at Santa Anita Park," reported thoroughbredtimes.com. A.P.Warrior (A.P.Indy-Warrior Queen, by Quiet American) was ridden by Corey Nakatani in his 1st start for new trainer John Shireffs (who won last year's Kentucky Derby with Giacomo) to defeat Point Determined (Point Given-Merengue, by Broad Brush) & favourite Bob And John (Seeking The Gold-Minister's Melody, by Deputy Minister). Nakatani enthused: "I wasn't surprised by anything he did this afternoon. When Point Determined came to me, he pinned his ears & dug in like I thought he would. He is a very, very versatile. I really think the sky is the limit with this horse. I'm excited!" A.P.Warrior now has 3 wins & a runner-up (in the 2005 Gr2 Norfolk Stakes) in 7 starts for US$287,185 earnings; he is scheduled to appear next in the Gr1 Santa Anita Derby (9 furlongs) on April 8. A.P.Warrior is the 1st foal from Irish stakes-winner Warrior Queen (purchased by the Flemings for US$2 million at the 2002 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale when in foal to A.P.Indy in her 1st year at stud). Meanwhile at Keeneland last September, Fleming sold Warrior Queen's 2nd foal (A.P.Warrior's Storm Cat half-sister) for US$3.8 million (highest-priced filly at the sale).