Rosario Takes Inside Route To Victory Aboard Vequist In Juvenile Fillies

Scoring over the same track where her sire, Nyquist, won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Swilcan Stable’s Vequist came up the rail under Joel Rosario to win Friday’s $2-million, Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies by two lengths at Keeneland.

The Juvenile Fillies was the third of five Future Stars Friday races for 2-year-olds that kicked off the two-day world championships at the Lexington, Ky. track.

Dayoutoftheoffice, who defeated Vequist last out in the G1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 10, finished second, a nose ahead of Girl Daddy, who edged Simply Ravishing for third. Princess Noor, the 9-5 favorite, finished fifth in the field of seven, with Crazy Beautiful sixth and Thoughtfully trailing the field.

Trained by Robert E. “Butch” Reid Jr., Vequist paid $15.20 for the win, her second in four lifetime starts. She covered 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.30.

Bred by Swilcan Stables, Vequist was produced from the Mineshaft mare, Vero Amore. She is from the first crop of foals by Nyquist, who won the Eclipse Award as outstanding 2-year-old male in 2015 and then went on to capture the G1 Kentucky Derby the following year. Nyquist stands at Darley’s Jonabell in Lexington, Ky.

Vequist was offered as part of the Brookdale Sales consignment at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale but bought back for $120,000. She debuted for Swilcan Stable with a good second-place finish in a July 29 maiden race at Parx, where her trainer is based, after which Barber and Adam Wachtel bought in to the filly. Vequist then shipped to Saratoga to win the G1 Spinaway by 9 1/2 lengths on Sept. 6. She was the 9-10 favorite when beaten two lengths by Dayoutoftheoffice in the Frizette.

Dayoutoftheoffice jumped out to an early lead in the Juvenile Fillies, with Vequist tucked in behind her and unbeaten Bob Baffert-trained Princess Noor to the outside. The opening quarter mile was clocked in :23.30 and the half in :47.12. Unbeaten Simply Ravishing, the 2-1 second choice and coming off a wire-to-wire victory at Keeneland in the G1 Alcibiades on Oct. 2, stumbled at the start and was behind the leading trio and alongside another unbeaten filly, Girl Daddy.

Approaching the far turn, after six furlongs in 1:11.32, Princess Noor tried to press on the leader but was unable to sustain a bid. When jockey Junior Alvarado allowed Dayoutoftheoffice to drift off the rail turning into the stretch, Vequist commenced her rally while hugging the inside and took dead aim on the leader. She was in front after a mile in 1:36.01 and drew away for the win.

“I tried to save ground,” said Rosario. “It was hard for her in the turn because I had a horse outside me. But she did great. I never gave up my position. As soon as I asked her she went on with it. It was a very good performance.” 

The victory was the second in a Breeders’ Cup race for Reid in just four starts, his previous win coming in the 2011 Marathon with Afleet Again. It is 12th Breeders’ Cup victory for Rosario and second in the Juvenile Fillies, having won with Jaywalk at Churchill Downs in 2018.

“My wife (Ginny) did a sensational job with her all week,” said Reid. “She really thrived on this air and the weather. She looked great coming in. I knew we would be laying up close. She’s a sharp filly. She doesn’t mind the inside obviously. I don’t know that you ever have that kind of feeling but we knew she was doing very well and we know she’s a very talented filly.”

Other comments after the Juvenile Fillies:

Second-place trainer Tim Hamm (Dayoutoftheoffice) – “She ran really hard, we’re proud of her. No complaints. We had a decent trip on the front end. Not a ton of pressure, no excuses. We talked about the race earlier and we said if no one goes I didn’t mind seeing her on the lead. She has a lot of natural speed and does it fairly easy so it didn’t shock me.” 

Second-place jockey Junior Alvarado (Dayoutoftheoffice) – “I thought there would be more speed but nobody seemed to want the lead. I sort of made the lead by default. She never seemed to settle on the lead and I think that made the difference.”  

Third-place trainer Dale Romans (Girl Daddy) – “She ran super. I thought we had a chance (to win) turning for home. She ran a big race. She didn’t have the cleanest trip but I am happy with her. She got hung a little wide; it wasn’t anyone’s fault, it is just the way the race unfolded.” 

Fourth and sixth-place trainer Kenny McPeek (Simply Ravishing and Crazy Beautiful) – “(Simply Ravishing) broke bad, stuck in traffic, nowhere to go and couldn’t get there. The one hole is kind of tough and like I said, (Simply Ravishing) broke bad. Crazy Beautiful, we might need to regroup altogether. I think she might be a sprinter.”

Fourth-place jockey Luis Saez (Simply Ravishing) – “The filly stumbled in the gate. They grabbed her tail and they never have done that before. I don’t know why. I had to grab her and that cost us a little bit because we were supposed to be right there, one or two. That didn’t happen.”

Fifth-place trainer Bob Baffert(Princess Noor) – “She was in a good spot, he had her in a perfect spot there but she just didn’t kick on. I’m pretty disappointed. She just came up empty. I had a lot of confidence in her but the winner ran a big race. They were going pretty fast. She just didn’t have it.”

Fifth-place jockey Victory Espinoza (Princess Noor) – “She broke out of the gate nice. Everything was working perfectly fine for me, but I knew we were in trouble when we hit the five-eighths pole because she was kind of having a hard timing running on the track. She was kind of slipping around. As long I got her in the bridle, she was running but she was forcing herself too much and she was wasting a lot of energy. The minute I started riding her that was it. She backed up and started lugging in. That was it.”

The post Rosario Takes Inside Route To Victory Aboard Vequist In Juvenile Fillies appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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