Airoforce Flies to Victory in the Bourbon

8th at KeeGIII Dixiana Bourbon S. (1 1/16m)Winner: Airoforce, c, 2 by Colonel John

Airoforce | Coady Photography

John Oxley's Airoforce got the best of a full field of 14 in Keeneland's GIII Bourbon S. The gray was purchased for $350,000 at the OBS April Sale after breezing a quarter in :21.0 and boasted a solid worktab at Churchill downs during the month of August. 

He rallied to win his career debut by 3 1/4 lengths at

Kentucky Downs Sept. 5, earning an 8 3/4 Thorograph number. Supported at odds of 5-1, Airoforce was away well from gate 13 and tracked the dueling leaders from three wide through the first quarter. Moving to the front in tandem with stablemate Siding Spring on the turn, he gained the lead by midstretch and kicked hope to finish well clear of the rallying Camelot Kitten.

“I was a little nervous going into the first turn,” winning trainer Mark Casse said. “Actually both of our horses had pretty wide trips. Going in [the race] we thought [Airoforce] was a good horse, and I think he proved today he is.”

Casse noted that the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf would likely be the next step for Airoforce.

“Not every horse likes this turf course,” the conditioner noted. “He proved that's not a problem. Hopefully he stays happy and healthy and we'll give it a try.”

Pilot Julien Leparoux was also pleased with Airoforce's effort.

“It was a good race,” the rider offered. [It was a] big step up from the maiden he won at Kentucky Downs. He's still a little green. When I got to the lead down the straight, he started looking around a bit. He's a nice horse. I think he should get better. I rode the horse when he broke his maiden. But [today's race] was such a big jump. We had a wide post–we got the 13. He broke sharp so I was pretty good in the first turn. He's very professional even though he's only raced twice.”

Airoforce is the first foal out of the multiple stakes placed Chocolate Pop (Cuvee). Chocolate Pop has a yearling filly by Colonel John and delivered a filly by First Samurai this year. She was bred to Sidney's Candy.



Sunday, Keeneland
DIXIANA BOURBON S.-GIII, $250,000, KEE, 10-4, 2yo, 1 1/16mT, 1:44.12, yl.
1–#@AIROFORCE, 118, c, 2, by Colonel John
1st Dam: Chocolate Pop {MSW}, by Cuvee
2nd Dam: White Chocolate, by With Approval
3rd Dam: Cee Knows, by Known Fact
($20,000 Ylg '14 FTKOCT; $350,000 2yo '15
OBSAPR). O-John C. Oxley; B-Stewart M. Madison
(KY); T-Mark E. Casse; J-Julien R. Leparoux.
$150,000. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $222,000.
Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.

2–Camelot Kitten, 118, c, 2, Kitten's Joy–Celestial
Woods, by Forestry. O/B-Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah
K. Ramsey (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $50,000.

3–Siding Spring, 118, c, 2, Warrior's Reward
Legendary Peace, by Peace Rules. ($47,000 Wlg '13
KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg '14 KEESEP). O-Gabe
Grossberg; B-Doug & Felicia Branham (KY); T-Mark E.
Casse. $25,000.

Margins: 2HF, HF, 2 1/4. Odds: 5.00, 5.90, 6.60.
Also Ran: Don't Be So Salty, Surgical Strike, Uncle Brennie, Site Read, Tequila Joe, Hot Ore, Unbridled Daddy, Expected Ruler, One Mean Man, Sallisaw, Argot. Scratched: Runaway King, Samicean (Ger).
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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