Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale has produced his share of outstanding turf horses through the years, and he has a developing 3-year-old turf specialist named Achilles, who improved to two for two in his brief career Thursday with a one-length victory as a 3-5 favorite in a mile optional claiming race on the Santa Anita turf course.
A son of Smart Strike out of a dam, Solvig, who was a graded stakes winner on the turf, Achilles cost $140,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. Achilles won his debut race March 10 at a mile on the turf by a head, coming from last place in a field of seven. Drysdale thought his winning performance Thursday was easier under jockey Joe Talamo. Achilles was running second behind pacesetter War Politics before passing him in the stretch.