Yearling Grad Pavel Gets His G1 in Stephen Foster H.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

As Pavel sped away to a 3 3/4-length romp in the 37th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Foster under the Churchill lights, trainer Doug O’Neill said he couldn’t help but feel a bit of déjà vu.

“I think all of us got these kind of weird flashbacks to 2012 and 2016,” said O’Neill, winner of the Kentucky Derby both of those years with I'll Have Another and Nyquist. “Those [purple and white] silks and everything … this was just incredible.”

Pavel, like I’ll Have Another and Nyquist, is owned by Reddam and was ridden by Mario Gutierrez. Always in a good spot just a few lengths off the lead after breaking from the outside post in a field of nine older horses, Pavel swept past heavily favored Backyard Heaven approaching the quarter pole and quickly surged away, finishing the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:49.21 over a fast track. He received a 101 Beyer Speed Figure.

Pavel, a gray Kentucky-bred colt by Creative Cause, returned $15.60 as third choice with his third victory from 10 career starts and just his second in a graded event, following the Grade 3 Smarty Jones at Parx Racing last September. In his last two starts, Pavel had run fourth in both the March 31 Dubai World Cup and the Gold Cup at Santa Anita last month.

The breakthrough score earned Pavel an expenses-paid, Win and You’re In berth into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, to be run Nov. 3 at Churchill.

“When the favorite pulled away from us, I thought, ‘Uh oh, well, we can still run second,’” said O’Neill. “But the way we mowed him down was incredible.”

Pavel is named for hockey star Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings. Many of Reddam’s horses are named for hockey players, including Nyquist for Gustav Nyquist, also of the Red Wings.
Pavel was offered by Hidden Brook at the 2015 Keenlenad September Yearling sale and capped off a prolific Saturday for Hidden Brook-associated runners. The Hidden Brook yearling grad Mopotism, also owned by Reddam, took third in the Fleur de Lis S. (G2) earlier on the Foster program at Churchill. Winner of the Grade 2 La Canada S. at Santa Anita earlier this year the 4-year-old filly has now earned $668,745. Back at Santa Anita on Saturday, the Hidden Brook foaled filly Chocolate Martini placed in the Summertime Oaks (G2) upping her bankroll to $329,936. Her signature victory came in the March 24 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).

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