Continental Divide chose a stylish way to break his maiden as he swept past rivals on the far turn and charged to a three-quarter length victory in the $100,000 Graduation Stakes at Del Mar August 6.
The bay colt, who was making just his second career start, became the second Stakes winner for his sire, Animal Kingdom.
Breaking alertly under Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza, Continental Divide raced in mid-pack through the first two furlongs. Rounding the far turn, Continental Divide hit the afterburners, sweeping past rivals while traveling five-wide on the turn. By the time the runners hit the top of the stretch, Continental Divide was in command and he was never threatened as he crossed the wire an easy winner.
Bred in California by PT Syndicate #1 LLC, Continental Divide is out of Bandora, a Stakes-placed daughter of Dixieland Band. Continental Divide hails from the female family of Love Theway Youare, winner of the G1 Vanity Handicap, and Tower Of Texas (by Street Sense), winner of the G2 King Edward Stakes and G2 Connaught Cup.
Continental Divide is the third winner from the first northern hemisphere crop of Animal Kingdom. In addition to Continental Divide, Animal Kingdom is the sire of Sunny Skies, winner of the Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs and Untamed Domain, who recently broke his maiden on the turf at Saratoga.
Animal Kingdom also has six winners so far in his first southern hemisphere crop, including recent winner Animalia, who defeated older horses. His other SH winners include TDN Rising Star Earth Angel, Lord Cecil, Barbary, Royal Phoenix, and Platinum.
Two days following Continental Divide's impressive performance, an Animal Kingdom yearling was knocked down for $750,000 at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga select sale. Consigned by Gainesway Farm, agent, as hip number 129, the handsome colt was purchased by Larry Best.