Nest’s ‘Dangerous Arsenal’ Impresses Pletcher, Filly Could Train Up To Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Michael House’s Nest flew to the top of her division with a dominant victory in the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga Race Course.

The three-time Grade 1-winning daughter of Curlin solidified her rightful place as leader of the 3-year-old filly division with a 4 1/4-length score in the prestigious ten-furlong test. Despite stumbling at the start, Nest was able to secure her desired forward position to track longshot She’s Keen’s early fractions before making a sweeping move around the far turn under her own power. She drew off to an in-hand victory under Irad Ortiz Jr., producing a 99 Beyer Speed Figure for the win.

“Good, excellent,” said Pletcher when asked how Nest looked on Sunday morning.

Pletcher added that he had watched replays of Nest’s superb Alabama victory several times.

“I thought it was more impressive watching the replay because watching it live, I couldn’t fully appreciate how quickly she accelerated off the turn there,” Pletcher said. “I was impressed watching it live and even more so watching the replay. Especially the start.”

Nest entered the Alabama off four week’s rest, capturing Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) on July 23 at the Spa by 12 1/4 lengths. Her highly prosperous sophomore season also includes a win in the Central Bank Ashland (G1) at Keeneland and runner-up efforts in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs and Belmont Stakes (G1) against males.

The victory provided Pletcher with a fourth Alabama victory, saddling CCA Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar [2013] and Stopchargingmaria [2014] to scores in both races. He also won last year’s Alabama with Malathaat, who was subsequently crowned champion 3-year-old filly.

“The Alabama is the premier 3-year-old filly race of the summer,” Pletcher said. “To pull off the double in the Coaching Club and Alabama, both four weeks apart in two blowout performances, it can’t get much more impressive than that. She’s got phenomenal stamina. What’s so impressive about it is she also has a turn of foot. It’s a pretty dangerous arsenal.”

As far as the rest of the Nest’s year is concerned, Pletcher said she could either train up to the $2-million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on November 5 at Keeneland or target the $250,000 Beldame (G2) on October 9 at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet or the $600,000 Spinster (G1) on the same day at Keeneland. The Cotillion (G1) on September 24 at Parx would likely not be a viable option.

Although Nest has been capable of being competitive against colts, Pletcher said he would stick to running against fillies for the time being.

“I think we just stay against our own gender for right now,” Pletcher said. “Things can change in this game. If there’s a few defections along the way, who knows? But for right now, I think we’re focused about running against fillies.”

Nest, bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stable, has a 6-2-1 record from nine career starts and $1,735,550 in lifetime earnings

Pletcher also spoke of third-place finisher Goddess of Fire, who garnered Grade 1 black-type for the first time with a third-place finish in the Alabama. The Red Oak Stable homebred could be a likely candidate for the Cotillion.

The daughter of Mineshaft earned Grade 2 black type when second in the Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds Race Course and the Gulfstream Park Oaks. She also was a distant third in last year’s Pocahontas (G3) at Churchill Downs.

“I thought she ran great, I was proud of her,” Pletcher said. “She ran gamely for third and it was a good Grade 1 placing for her. We’ll talk about the Cotillion, maybe.”

The post Nest’s ‘Dangerous Arsenal’ Impresses Pletcher, Filly Could Train Up To Breeders’ Cup Distaff appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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