Goodnight Olive Cruises in BC’22 Filly & Mare Sprint

November 5, 2022

Photo of Goodnight Olive by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky. – First Row Partners and Team Hanley’s favored Goodnight Olive ($5.70) took command at the top of the stretch and cruised to a 2 ½-length victory in the 16th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) for 3-year-olds and up, the first of nine World Championship races Saturday at Keeneland.

Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Goodnight Olive completed the 7 furlongs on the fast track in 1:21.61. It is the second victory in the race for Brown, who won here in 2015 with Wavell Avenue, and the third for Ortiz, who won with Bar of Gold in 2017 and Shamrock Rose in 2018.

It is the 16th World Championships victory for both Brown and Ortiz.

Slammed and Edgeway dueled for the early lead with Goodnight Olive racing just in behind the leaders. On the far turn, Ortiz tipped Goodnight Olive out three wide and at the top of the lane swept past the leaders.

Goodnight Olive maintained a clear advantage through the stretch and had more than enough to hold off Echo Zulu, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner. Wicked Halo, Echo Zulu’s Steve Asmussen-trained stablemate, was another length back in third.

The victory was worth $520,000 and increased Goodnight Olive’s earnings to $1,019,950 with a record of 7-6-1-0. Goodnight Olive is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Ghostzapper out of the Smart Strike mare Salty Strike.

A very happy Ortiz Jr. atop Goodnight Olive after their victory. Photo by Courtney Snow for Past The Wire

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Quotes

Winning trainer Chad Brown (Goodnight Olive): “What a wonderful trip. Once again Irad (Ortiz Jr.) showed everyone his immense skill. He got a good position early and was patient. Looked like it got a little tight right before the final turn, but he waited until the right time to get her in the clear.

“She symbolizes everything that’s good in horse racing. Being patient, always putting the horse first, bringing together a lot of different people that some didn’t even know each other before they went in on this horse together and large ownership group that is worthy of this win with their patience. A lot memories made today.

“She’s a lot like her father (Ghostzapper). It makes you feel a little old I worked a lot with Ghostzapper with (trainer) Bobby (Frankel) and I always think of him on these big days; everything he taught me. She’s a lot of her Dad – tough as nails and might not run a lot but when she does, she lets everyone know when she does.”

Winning Owner Steve Layman (First Row Partners) (Goodnight Olive):

“It’s such a privilege to have a horse like this. It’s just an honor. We are so blessed and thankful for Chad (Brown), Irad (Ortiz Jr.) all the way down the line. She’s had a wonderful few weeks here and have had the privilege to watch her train and Chad’s job with her has been masterful.”

Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Goodnight Olive): “Lot of speed in the race. She broke on top, but I didn’t want to rush her. When she’s on her game, she can do anything. I’ve ridden her and I knew that. I just took my time. I was able to get her out at the top of the stretch and the rest was all her.”

Second-place and third-place trainer Steve Asmussen (Echo Zulu and Wicked Halo): “I thought they ran well: second and third in a Breeders’ Cup. It’s funny when you draw up what part of the track you want to be on. We’ve watched three races and it appears what part you want to have. That ended up not being the draws they had. 

On Echo Zulu : “Ricardo was very frustrated with how wide she was, how much ground she gave. At this level, credit to the winner. She ran well. Sometimes the spot you want is taken.”

Fourth-place trainer Michael McCarty (Ce Ce): “She ran a super race. Broke well. Victor (Espinoza) had her in a good spot. Up the backside, I was very pleased with where she was at; looked like she had some daylight to her outside. Very comfortable. From the three-eighths pole to about the quarter, Victor said the track just wasn’t to her liking. She was kind of spinning her wheels around the turn. Straightened for home and got her face clean and came running again. She’s always been a little track-sensitive. She’s 6, she’s an eclipse award champion – obviously it’s a huge feather in our cap to have someone like her 3, 4, 5 and 6-years-old, as good as she was. Breeders’ Cups are always tough. She didn’t embarrass herself today.”

Fourth-place jockey Victor Espinoza (Ce Ce): “It was great. I advanced out of there and she broke beautifully. She seemed like she was running into the track the way she likes to, but it seemed like the track is a little bit different from the middle of the turn to the stretch. She put in a good run.”

“For the best in horse racing, I read Past the Wire, and you should read it too.” Tommy Massis, Racehorse owner, Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Champion  

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