Conquest Enforcer Wins California Debut on Turf at Santa Anita
Conquest Enforcer made a winning debut for his new connections, taking the $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile on opening day at Santa Anita Monday. The winter-spring meet opener featured four stakes races and concluded with this gate to wire winner, as Conquest Enforcer rewarded his new trainer Phil D’Amato and Loooch Racing with a 1 ¼ length victory as the 9-5 favorite.
Conquest Enforcer, a 3-year-old Into Mischief colt, broke sharply with Flavien Prat aboard. He settled into the backstretch and led the first half mile in fractions of :22.91 and :46.11. When the field turned for home and tried to catch the leader, Conquest Enforcer showed another gear and hit the wire in 1:33.64, ahead of hard-charging Mittersill, who finished a half-length in front of the show horse, Moonlight Drive.
“I can’t ask for better than that (two victories on his return from France),” said Prat. “It was a great day. He broke so sharp, I just wanted him to relax on the lead. He didn’t relax until the backside and then he got going. Phil (D’Amato) said he has a great turn of foot and he seemed so sharp. I was a little worried in the stretch, but he kicked away.”
The Mathis Brothers Mile was the fourth graded stakes of the day and concluded the $1 million guarantee late Pick 4. The winning numbers were 11-4-2-4 and a .50 cent ticket with those combinations paid $756.60 with a Pick 4 prize pool of more than $1.6 million.
|4 CONQUEST ENFORCER||$5.60||$3.80||3.00|
|3 MOONLIGHT DRIVE||$5.60|
Trainer Phil D’Amato was confident in his colt, who was purchased at the November 2016 Keeneland sale for $750,000.
“I am very happy,” commented D’Amato. “He’s settled into our program really nicely and I think the sky is the limit with this horse. Prat is a great fit for him. This horse actually reminds me of Obviously and he guided Obviously to a nice Breeders’ Cup win and hopefully next year we’re doing the same with this horse.”
Conquest Enforcer won his fifth race in eight starts, and his first graded stakes victory was worth $120,000 and boosted his career earnings to $480,640.