Iliad cruises to San Vicente S. (G2) victory
RSS Feeds Monday, February 13, 2017
Iliad put himself squarely in the top of the 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) contenders with a stylish-looking 3 1/2-length victory in the Feb. 12 San Vicente S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

The 3-year-old son of Ghostzapper, a $285,000 Eddie Woods sales grad at last year's OBS March 2-year-olds sale, was never seriously threatened in the stretch after taking over the lead leaving the turn, coming home in a rapid 1:21.62 for the seven furlongs while earning a 96 Beyer Speed Figure.

“His last breeze was awesome. I talked with Doug (trainer O'Neill) and he had a lot of confidence that he’d run well today and he ran to his works,” said owner Kaleem Shah.

“We can all hope and pray for horses like this. I’m glad Iliad came along. I hope he continues to move forward. It’s one race at a time in this business, but it looks very promising for now.

“I was looking for a great name just like Bayern (Shah's 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner), which represented a great soccer team. This one, Iliad, represents a great western classic in literature.

“I think we stay here and try to run in the San Felipe (Grade II, 1 1/16 miles, March 11) and then hopefully, the Santa Anita Derby (Grade I, 1 1/8 miles April 8).”

Iliad broke his maiden by a similar margin in December and is now 2-0-0 in three starts and has earned $147,345. The winner was bred in Kentucky by Sungyeoun Lim and is a half-brother to two-time graded stakes winner Melmich.