Vequist ‘A Little Ahead Of Schedule’ For 2021 Debut; Cotillion The Goal For Champion Filly

Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Swilcan Stable’s reigning Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Vequist breezed a half-mile in 47.77 Friday on the Saratoga main track under Jose Lezcano in preparation for a potential seasonal debut at the end of the Saratoga meet.

Trainer Butch Reid, Jr. said the sophomore daughter of Nyquist is working towards a long-term goal of the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion, a 1 1/16-mile test for sophomore fillies on September 25 at Parx. It was just the second work back for Vequist, who captured the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile fillies last out in November at Keeneland.

“She did very well this morning,” said Reid, Jr. “I had her galloping out in 1:01 and 2 and on out in about 1:15. She’s fitter than I thought she was. She’s actually a little ahead of schedule. I wanted her ready to go five-eighths on the first of August and she’s a little ahead of that. I’m very happy with her progress. She’s coming along nicely. If everything works out, she could run here before the end of the meet.”

The talented dark bay, out of the Mineshaft mare Vero Amore, graduated by 9 1/2-lengths in the Grade 1 Spinaway last summer at Saratoga.

St. Omer’s Farm and Christopher J. Feifarek’s Beren posted a sharp 46.60 half-mile bullet work Friday on the main track. The Weigelia sophomore has won his last three starts, capturing the Gold Fever and off-the-turf Paradise Creek at Belmont ahead of a last-out score in the Crowd Pleaser on June 22 at Parx.

Initially under consideration for the nine-furlong $120,000 Curlin on July 30, Reid Jr. said the fast work has him considering the 6 1/2-furlong Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam on August 1.

“It looks like he came out of it well, but it’s made me rethink my strategy a little bit,” Reid, Jr. said. “It’s hard to think about coming back at a mile and an eighth for the Curlin, when there’s the Amsterdam there. Plus, two more days might be very helpful for him.”

Reid, Jr. said Swilcan Stable and LC Racing’s Mainstay, a 2-year-old half-sister to stablemate Vequist, has come out of her runner-up effort to Pretty Birdie in the Grade 3 Schuylerville on Opening Day July 15 in good order and will now point to the 6 1/2-furlong Grade 2, $200,000 Adirondack on August 8.

A 7 3/4-length maiden winner on June 4 over sloppy going at Monmouth, Mainstay bobbled at the start of her graded stakes debut and was unable to reel in a runaway Pretty Birdie.

“She lost concentration coming down the lane. I don’t know if it was the crowd, but she ducked in when I thought she had dead aim on the other horse [Pretty Birdie],” Reid Jr. said. “I really think she’ll learn from the experience. She came out of it so well, we’re thinking about taking a shot at the Adirondack. She hasn’t missed an oat since the race and has been training very well.”

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