LEXINGTON, KY (Aug. 11, 2014) – At the Curragh in Ireland on Aug. 10, Dick Whittington won the estimated $267,741 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes to capture the year’s first Group 1 race for 2-year-olds in Europe.
Joseph O’Brien rode the son of Rip Van Winkle for his father, trainer Aidan O’Brien. The colt, bred by Swordlestown Stud, races for the internationally successful ownership team of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier.
Dick Whittington, already a Group 3 winner, won the 6-furlong Keeneland Phoenix on a course labeled “soft” by a half-length from Irish-bred Kool Kompany. Time was 1:14.55.
The performance gave Aidan O’Brien his 13th victory in the race, first run in 1902. Among the winners he trained is Johannesburg, a Kentucky-bred Keeneland sales graduate who won the Phoenix in 2001 and ended the season winning the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Johannesburg, who received the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male, raced for Tabor and Magnier.
The Keeneland Phoenix Stakes was run on the Curragh’s Family Day, creating a unique opportunity for the Curragh-Keeneland team to share its passion for Thoroughbred racing with fans of all ages. Among those in attendance was Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s Director of Sales and a native of Ireland.