Phoenix bolster Breeder's Cup ranks with purchase of Axelrod
Three-year-old colt will be targeted at the Classic
The Michael McCarthy-trained Axelrod is the latest star to be privately purchased by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, with the Breeders' Cup Classic his main target.
Over the past few months the investment fund has been prominent at the yearling sales but are re-affirming their commitment to success on the track with the acquisition of a proven performer.
Previous private purchases for the operation include Phoenix Stakes scorer Advertise and Queen Mary Stakes heroine Signora Cabello.
Axelrod has won four of his ten starts, including twice at Graded level, and was an excellent second to McKinzie in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby last time out. That performance saw him run to a career-best speed figure and, coupled with his wins in the Indiana Derby and Smarty Jones Stakes, encouraged Phoenix to add the three-year-old to their roster.
"He's a nice horse strong horse with a big stride." said Tom Ludt, the head of equine operations for the fund.
"We're looking at running him in the Breeders' Cup Classic but all options are open as far as his next start is concerned."
The Warrior's Reward colt has a notable pedigree that includes champion Medaglia D'Oro as his paternal grandsire, which could see Phoenix stand him at stud. But a career as a sire will be on hold for at least another 12 months.
"We plan on running him next year," added Ludt "and will hopefully build a great racing resume for a stallion in 2020."
The horse will stay with California-based trainer Michael McCarthy, for whom he recently worked five furlongs at Santa Anita in 1:02.20 as he gears up for Churchill Downs.
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