FRANK E. KILROE MILE STAKES | PURSE: $300,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 1 | 1 MILE
Pozo de Luna's Suggestive Boy just staved off the late thrust of Silentio by a nose in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,750 Frank E. Kilroe Mile, handing Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally a milestone 700th Santa Anita win. At the same time, the four-time Group 1 hero in his native Argentina was registering his first top-level score in North America.
Suggestive Boy rallied from midpack in the course-and-distance prep, the Grade 2 Arcadia on February 2, but the 3-2 favorite raced a bit closer to the pace in the Kilroe. Vagabond Shoes was intent on the early lead and reeled off fractions of :22 4/5, :46 3/5 and 1:09 4/5.
The prompting Forest Mouse took over when Vagabond Shoes gave way swinging into the stretch, but Suggestive Boy was already bearing down him. Meanwhile, deep closer Mr. Commons was vainly seeking room in and among horses, and finding himself in a holding pattern for much of the stretch.
Although Suggestive Boy struck the front, there would be no reprise of his 2 1/2-length Arcadia margin. Silentio soon arrived on the scene to challenge, forcing the Argentinean veteran to find extra. Reaching for the wire, Suggestive Boy zipped the firm-turf mile in 1:32 4/5 and rewarded his supporters with $5, $3.40 and $2.80.
Third-placer Fed Biz, who had tracked the early leaders in his turf debut, stayed on one-paced another 1 1/4 lengths back. Mr. Commons eventually got in the clear and worked his way alongside Fed Biz, but missed third by a nose. Next came Forest Mouse, Akkadian, Wilkinson and Vagabond Shoes.
Suggestive Boy's resume now reads 13-7-2-0, $684,654. At two, the son of Easing Along landed the Group 1 Gran Premio Raul y Raul Chevalier and Group 1 Gran Premio Estrellas Juvenile, and at three, he captured the Group 1 Dos Mil Guineas and Group 1 Gran Premio Jockey Club.
Subsequently exported, Suggestive Boy was an encouraging runner-up to Jeranimo in last summer's Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in his U.S. debut. He built on that effort to take the July 25 Wickerr over the Del Mar turf next time out, but then failed to prosper when switching surfaces, winding up fifth in both the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on the Del Mar Polytrack and in the Grade 1 Awesome Again on Santa Anita's dirt. Suggestive Boy unsuccessfully reverted to turf for the Breeders' Cup Mile, where he chased early and tired late for seventh, beaten 5 3/4 lengths by Horse of the Year Wise Dan. He rebounded in the Arcadia and has now won two straight.
Suggestive Boy was capping a heady week for his female line. Last Saturday, his maternal relative Orb leapt into Kentucky Derby consideration by taking the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.
Bred by Haras Futuro, Suggestive Boy was produced by the Horse Chestnut mare Suffrage, making him a half-brother to Chilean Group 2-placed Suffisant. This is the family of Grade 2 victress Mesabi Maiden, the granddam of Orb.
Further back in the maternal line, one finds multiple Grade 1 winner Coronado's Quest, Grade 1 victor Private Terms and Hall of Famer Ruffian.