Photo of Meditate and Ryan Moore by Courtney Snow for Past the Wire
Breeders’ Cup Press Release
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Westerberg Limited’s favored Meditate (IRE) ($6.08) rocketed past the front-runners approaching the eighth pole and drew off for a 2 ½-length victory in the 15th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) for 2-year-olds at Keeneland.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, Meditate completed the mile on a firm turf course in 1:35.38. It was the first victory in the race for O’Brien and Moore and the 14th and 10th overall, respectively, for the duo.
Spirit Gal led the field of 14 early on while being tracked by Manhattan Jungle (IRE) and Cairo Consort as Meditate raced in mid pack. Spirit Gal led a tightening pack into the stretch but Moore had angled Meditate into the clear and soon delivered the knockout blow.
Pleasant Passage rallied from far back to get second by 2 ¼ lengths over Cairo Consort who saved third by a head over Midnight Mile (IRE).
The victory was worth $520,000 to Meditate, a son of No Nay Never out of the Dalakhani mare Pembini. Now boasting a record of 7-5-2-0, Meditate has earned $862,341.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Quotes
Winning trainer Aiden O’Brien (Meditate): “We had a reason (she didn’t win) at the Curragh and a reason for her last race and weren’t sure about the mile. Ryan (Moore) gave her a brilliant ride. Michael (Tabor) was very confident that this was the race for her. It’s incredible. We came to here to see if she would be a filly for the Guineas. And I heard Michael telling Ryan before the race, if she wasn’t going to get the trip here, we might not train her for the Guineas. Obviously, the result was great. Ryan was very patient. He didn’t have an easy draw and said he had to take his time the first half. Delighted for everyone.”
Winning jockey Ryan Moore (Meditate): “It’s obviously always very hard coming here. Everything needs to go right. No one comes here to get beat. The filly did it very easy and has lots of talent. She hasn’t run a bad race all year and gets better with every race. She started well, went hard for a little bit, I was going to be wide and the pace got steady. I followed a horse down the backside and she picked up really well down the stretch. She had them covered with a furlong out and in front pricking her ears. She was much the best.”
Second-place trainer Shug McGaughey (Pleasant Passage): “I thought she ran great. She missed the break just a tad, but I loved her position back there. When the winner moved, we sort of had to wait a little bit. When she got clear in the stretch I thought she finished really well.”
Second-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Pleasant Passage): “Beautiful trip. I dropped in and saved some ground. I had the winner beside me going into the second turn and I could tell he had horse. I just followed him, but had to wait a bit. My filly responded really well. I was happy with her.”
Third-place trainer Nathan Squires (Cairo Consort): “It was a good run. She’s a good horse. We came here hoping for the best and hoping we would finish in the top three. At the top of the lane, it looked like she could do it, but she hung on for third. She’s an honest filly, as honest as they come. No one wants to blame anything about the last race – that’s racing luck– and we looked at the tape because we had to and we decided we should bring her here. She broke well today and she ran absolutely great. Phenomenal. I’m very proud of her and so happy – this is my first Breeders’ Cup and my first time here.”
Third-place jockey Joel Rosario (Cairo Consort): “She ran great. She broke well and had a good inside trip, but I think the winner was much the best. She ran her race so we’re happy with it.”
Fourth-place trainer Richard Fahey (Midnight Mile): “She ran well and came home well, but I was never happy with her in the preliminaries. She didn’t look happy. She looked in bad form with herself and I am worried that she may be in season. If I could have scratched her before the start, I would have, because she just didn’t look happy at all – but, look, she’s run her race, so not too bad.”