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Forbidden Kingdom continues his roll in the San Felipe S. (G2)

March 6, 2022

Forbidden Kingdom leaves the field behind in the San Felipe S. (G2) – BENOIT PHOTO

MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm’s Forbidden Kingdom put on a stellar display in Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park, cruising to a six-length win in the 3-year-old colt’s first start around two turns.

Forbidden Kingdom earned his first 50 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge, putting him in the top five on the list for a guaranteed spot in the Run for the Roses.

Just as he did in the Jan. 29 San Felipe S. (G2), Forbidden Kingdom went right to the front under Juan Hernandez, going up by three lengths in the first half-mile. From there, he opened up by nearly 10 lengths on the turn. Doppelganger made a belated run, but could get no closer than the final margin, with Forbidden Kingdom easing up in the final sixteenth to get the 1 1/16-miles on a fast track in 1:43.98.

“I was anxious to see this race and see if he would get two turns. He looked even better,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said. “I was a little nervous when I saw the :45 on the board for the first half. He just did what he likes to do. The next step is the Santa Anita Derby (G1) next month.”

“It’s unbelievable,” added MyRacehorse founder and CEO Michael Behrens. “We were at the Derby and Breeders’ Cup with Authentic [in 2020] and that was amazing. But to have this one and pick this horse as a baby. To go through the whole journey. To watch Mandella see him through his maturation and control his brilliant speed; and to do this today with all of these people (here), it’s a touchdown.”

Forbidden Kingdom, a son of 2015 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah, won on debut last August at Del Mar and placed in both the grassy Speakeasy S. and Bob Hope S. (G3) during his 2-year-old campaign. He is now 3-1-1 in five starts and has earned $434,000.