The Florida-bred son of Pioneerof the Nile, who won the same race as a 2-year-old in 2008 when it was run at Hollywood Park, has so far justified his $1 million auction price tag with two wins in as many starts. It took all of the colt’s considerable talents to claim the Los Alamitos Futurity victory and earn 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Partnered with Flavien Prat, who was aboard for the colt’s debut win Oct. 26 at Santa Anita Park, Thousand Words, one of two Bob Baffert-trained horses in the four-horse field, broke a touch slow from the gate on a good (sealed) dirt track. Stablemate High Velocity sprang into action under Drayden Van Dyke and angled in quickly to take the lead. Thousand Words kept within striking range and pressed the pace just inside the five-eighths pole as the half-mile went in :45.87.
Anneau d’Or and Wrecking Crew tracked the dueling pair closely along the backside, and the foursome was in a compact formation coming off the turn. Thousand Words got his neck in front of High Velocity nearing the top of the stretch as Anneau d’Or made a wide move coming off the turn to challenge.
High Velocity and Thousand Words continued to battle through midstretch as Anneau d’Or went widest of all in an attempt to run down the leaders. Guided inward by Juan Hernandez, Anneau d’Or moved up alongside Thousand Words, and the pair raced toward the finish, leaving High Velocity in their wake.
Thousand Words dug deep to turn back Anneau d’Or in the closing styrides and scores his first stakes victory by a neck. The final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.19.
“They went a little bit quick early — both of them,” Baffert said. “Turning for home, I thought I was going to run 1-2. I was watching [Anneau d’Or], who is a really good horse. Then [Thousand Words] came down, and it looked like [Anneau d’Or] would gobble us up at the end.
“Prat did a great job. He brought him out and showed him the other horse. I had a lot of blinker on today, probably too much blinker, but when he saw the other horse, he kicked back in gear, came back, and handled it really well. That’s pretty impressive for second time out to run that way and run that well. This is the first time I’ve won this race when I wasn’t the favorite. I’m glad to be here today.”
High Velocity held for third, five lengths behind Anneau d’Or. Wrecking Crew was eased in the stretch.
Bred in Florida by Hardacre Farm, Thousand Words is out of the Pomeroy mare Pomeroys Pistol, a multiple graded stakes winner who placed in the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes and Test Stakes. He was purchased by the Albaugh Family and Spendthrift Farm from the Brookdale Sales consignment to the 2018 Keeneland September yearling sale. He has earned $151,000.