‘A Heck Of A Battle’: Likely Eclipse Award Winner British Idiom To Be Aimed At Kentucky Oaks

Undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner British Idiom was already back at her Churchill Downs base Saturday morning after catching a 2 a.m. flight back home along with several other Kentucky-based Friday runners, including beaten Juvenile favorite Dennis’ Moment.

British Idiom, with Javier Castellano in the irons, was seventh of nine early, saved ground down the backside before launching her bid from the outside of Donna Veloce and wore down that rival in the final strides to prevail by a neck.

“She got bumped around a little going into the first turn, but held her position well down the backside,” trainer Brad Cox said. “I thought Javier (Castellano) did a good job keeping her in the mix. I thought Donna Veloce was getting the better of the trips watching on TV and that our filly may have been struggling a bit. She wasn’t taking Javier up the backside like I would have liked to have seen her. I was little concerned at that point, but I could see him start to ask her around the turn and she was picking it up at that point. He moved to the outside and she started making her move. I knew if she could get her head in front, she’d be tough because she’s super fit and ready to roll. It was a heck of a battle. I held by breath the last sixteenth of a mile because we did get in front, but (Donna Veloce) was extremely competitive and tough to put away. It was an exciting race, heck of a stretch duel. I feel very fortunate to come out on top.

“We’ll just regroup with her now, back off of her a little. We’ll get her ready for 2020. Obviously, the goal right now is the Kentucky Oaks.”

Favored Donna Veloce, whose quest for history yesterday fell a neck short in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, ate up and looked good this morning, according to assistant trainer Carlos Santamaria.

The race favorite, trying to become the only juvenile filly capture a Breeders’ Cup in only her second start, “tried very hard in her valiant runner-up effort,” Santamaria said. “We might have been asking too much of her to go from 6 1/2 furlongs to a mile and one-sixteenth so soon,” he added.

While no definite plans have been made, he indicated that if she were to run one additional time this year, the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes Dec. 7 at Los Alamitos would be a consideration.

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