Aristocratic was unquestionably best in Sunday's $77,500 San Pedro S. at Santa Anita Park, tallying a 4 1/2-length victory to give the 3-year-old Malibu Moon colt his first stakes win in just his fifth lifetime start.
Winner of a maiden race two months ago, Aristocratic shipped to Oaklawn Park where gate troubles cost him any chance in the March 4th Gazebo S. Back at his home course, Aristocratic was away perfectly in the San Pedro, with three horses to his outside vying for the lead.
Flying through fractions of :21.67 and :44.84, Aristocratic had a one-length lead at the top of the stretch, when he opened up on the field to come home a winner in 1:10.09 for the six furlongs.
“I knew there was a lot of speed in the race, but this horse likes to be on the lead and in control,” said rider Rafael Bejarano, who was aboard for the maiden win as well. “So there was no choice for me. I tried to get him to relax without taking too much hold of him and get him comfortable. At the top of the stretch, I knew I had plenty left.”
Owned by Kaleem Shah, Aristocratic is trained by Doug O'Neill and is now 2-2-0 in five starts and has earned $99,950.
Bred by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate, Aristocratic is out of Ask Me When, who is a half-sister to Spendthrift stallion Dominus. Aristocratic sold for $475,000 at the 2016 OBS March 2-year-old sale.
A top-five General Sire of 2017, Malibu Moon now has 98 lifetime black type winners of more than $95 million. His leading horses this year include leading contenders for both the Kentucky Derby (Gormley) and Kentucky Oaks (Farrell).