World Approval impresses in Sophomore Turf S.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
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Northern Afleet’s World Approval stormed down the Tampa Bay Downs turf stretch Saturday to score a come-from-behind victory in the $75,000 Sophomore Turf S. The win was the first black type victory for the Live Oak Stud homebred, who was making just his fourth career start.

Sixth in the field of seven for the first seven furlongs, World Approval unleashed a four-wide move in the stretch to win the 1 1/16-mile contest by 1 ¾-lengths.

The winner, ridden for the first time by Rafael M. Hernandez, finished the distance in 1:42.21.

“He had been training real well for this,” said Mitch Downs, assistant to trainer Mark Casse. “We’ll enjoy this win, and when we get back to the barn, I’m sure Mark and Mrs. Weber (owner of Live Oak) will sit down and talk and see where he goes from here.”

“They told me this guy would want to go after them early, but to take hold and get him to relax and make one run,” Hernandez added. “It couldn’t have worked out better for us. He could be special. They bunched up in the turn and when I asked him for run, he went after them big time.”

World Approval’s famous grandsire, With Approval won the 1989 Canadian Triple Crown, earning a Sovereign Award as Canada’s Horse of the Year, and also captured a pair of Grade II turf stakes at Belmont as a 4-year-old.

World Approval is out of Win Approval, the dam of a trio of Live Oak homebreds to win more than $1-million in their careers, including Miesque’s Approval, 2006 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner and Eclipse Award Champion Grass Horse; multiple graded-stakes winner Za Approval; and Revved Up.  

Northern Afleet is the sire of 78 stakes winners in his career, including champion and dual Classic winner Afleet Alex. Northern Afleet stands this year at Taylor Made for $7,500 stands and nurses.