Breeze Easy’s Four Wheel Drive was fastest out of the gate and led all the way to turn back Chimney Rock by three-quarters of a length to win the second running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Friday afternoon to kick off the 36th edition of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Four Wheel Drive covered the 5 furlongs on a firm turf course in :55.66. It is the third Breeders’ Cup victory for Ward and sixth for Ortiz.
Four Wheel Drive, who did not make his debut until Aug. 31 in a stakes race at Colonial Downs, quickly opened a daylight advantage and maintained a safe advantage over Chimney Rock from start to finish.
Winning Trainer Wesley Ward said of the victory, “It’s great for the owners, fantastic for Coolmore, fantastic for everyone that put a lot of money behind American Pharoah… For this horse to turn out to be a Breeders’ Cup winner is sensational. He (Four Wheel Drive) is a real cool dude. He takes it all in. He popped right out like a real professional horse will, and he kind of settled. When (Ortiz) called upon him, away he went.”
Now undefeated in three starts, Four Wheel Drive is a Kentucky-bred son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of the More Than Ready mare Funfair. The victory was worth $550,000, and increased Four Wheel Drive’s earnings to $692,500.