It has been just over a month since American Cleopatra, full sister to Triple Crown Champion, American Pharoah walked into Bob Baffert’s barn.
Since that time she has breezed three times, once going three furlongs in :35.60 and twice going half a mile, recording times of :47.80 and :48.60 respectively.
According to Bob Baffert, despite the swift times of the works and their regularity, American Cleopatra is still behind schedule. “She’s a little behind right now. She’s just immature.”
Immaturity could be a family trait as American Pharoah had issues of his own when he was just starting out. Remember, American Pharoah was very alert to sounds and was easily distracted by them. In his debut he finished a non-threatening fifth, which led to Baffert putting cotton in his ears to drown out all of the distracting sounds.
Another family trait is the sweet temperament.
During his career, American Pharoah was likened to a family pet by his connections. He was as sweet as a thoroughbred, or any breed of horse for that matter, could be. American Cleopatra, according to Baffert, has the same sweet temperament and love for attention.
“She is like her brother, she’s a sweetheart”, said Baffert.
Interestingly enough, while American Pharoah and American Cleopatra are similar in how they act while on the track, they are not the same.
Baffert described American Pharoah as “aggressive” and “wanting to run off” during his works. American Cleopatra, on the other hand, while wanting and willing, is more agreeable.
“She wants to be aggressive, but she’s more controllable,” noted Baffert on how the filly works in the mornings.
Despite all that they have learned about her and her personality, Baffert still remains cautious.
“Jury is still out, but we’ll start getting serious with her works the next couple weeks. That is when we will know more,” he said.
The good news is, despite the fact that the serious preparations have yet to begin and despite being behind schedule, American Cleopatra could make it to the starting gate sooner than anticipated. According to Baffert, American Cleopatra could be ready to make her eagerly awaited debut in the next five weeks.
“If all goes well, [American Cleopatra’s two-year-old debut] is five weeks away,” said a cautious Baffert.
Now that we have a timeframe, the countdown to the debut of American Pharoah’s little sister can commence. Will she be able to follow in her big brother’s very large hoof prints? Will she be able to live up to all of the hype?
In a little over a month, we could very well find out.