Son of American Pharoah Makes Third Start
George Papaprodromou couldn’t beat American Pharoah in Oaklawn’s biggest race for 3-year-olds in 2015. Now, Papaprodromou will try to win Oaklawn’s second-biggest race for 3-year-olds with a son of American Pharoah when the trainer sends out lightly raced American Theorem in the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2).
American Theorem is from the first crop of American Pharoah, who won the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby (G1) before sweeping the Triple Crown for Bob Baffert. Papaprodromou was represented in the Arkansas Derby by a maiden, Win the Space, who, in his third career start and stakes debut, finished sixth at odds of 35-1.
American Theorem will also be making his third career start in the Rebel, but the gray colt broke his maiden as the favorite Aug. 31 at Del Mar before finishing second in his two-turn debut, the $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes (G1) Sept. 27 at Santa Anita. American Theorem is 6-1 on the morning line for the 1 1/16-mile Rebel.
“He’s a horse that can, I think he has a little natural speed into him,” Papaprodromou said Thursday morning. “He can rate. He can do whatever you want with him. First time, when he won his maiden, he rated a little bit, he made his move. He showed that he can do that, too. In the American Pharoah Stakes, he showed that he had little speed in him, too, like he can be out there. We just got a little tired at the end. He’s doing great.”
Papaprodromou said American Theorem’s lengthy time away from the races was because of a “little setback,” adding it was “nothing serious.”
“It’s a 2-year-old, still growing, and all that stuff,” Papaprodromou said. “We didn’t want to rush anything and just gave him the time he wanted to grow up and go from there.”
Win the Space was beaten 10 1/2 lengths in the Arkansas Derby, and American Pharoah won by eight. American Theorem was beaten six lengths in the American Pharoah Stakes by another Baffert trainee, Eight Rings. The Southern California-based Papaprodromou traveled 1,600 miles to face yet another Baffert runner, unbeaten Nadal, who is the 5-2 program favorite for the Rebel.
“Baffert, we train back home at Santa Anita,” Papaprodromou said. “He sees him (American Theorem) every day training and he really likes him a lot. He was impressed with his last two workouts. Obviously, I think he wants him to do well, I think, because of the sire.”
American Theorem will be Papaprodromou’s second career Oaklawn starter. American Pharoah, the 2015 Horse of the Year, was the country’s leading first-crop sire last year.