Nadal (3 c ex Ascending Angel by Pulpit) maintained his unbeaten record in the second division of the Arkansas Derby (Gr 1, 9f) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday and handed his Claiborne Farm-based sire Blame (Arch) his fifth Grade 1 winner.
The Bob Baffert-trained colt was settled behind the leaders in the early stages of the race. Moved up around the turn, Nadal took the lead entering the straight and pulled away for a three length victory over King Guillermo (Uncle Mo) with Finnick The Fierce (Dialed In) in third position.
"Nadal was ready for this," Baffert said. "He was tested the last time [in the Rebel Stakes]." "I'm really excited about these three [Nadal, Charlatan and Authentic].
"It's hard to separate these three three-year-olds. They are good horses, and I'm lucky to have them. I wish the Kentucky Derby was in June."
Bought for US$65,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Nadal provided a healthy profit for Randy Bradshaw when he was resold for US$700,000 at the Fasig-Tipton The Gulfstream Sale last March to Kerri Radcliffe.
He is the only winner out of the placed mare Ascending Angel (Pulpit) who is a half-sister to five winners including the Listed winner Reform Act (Lemon Drop Kid) and the dam of Listed winners Lunar Victory (Speightstown) and The Tea Cups (Hard Spun). Further back this is the family of Grade 1 winners Pleasant Stage (Pleasant Colony), Marsh Side (Gone West) and Changeintheweather (Gone West).
Blame stood for a fee of US$35,000 at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky this year.