G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Morticia closed the book on a stellar career Friday afternoon with a runner-up effort to Oleksandra (AUS) in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3).
“I’m pretty sure that’s it. There’s not much left for her to do and I think now she will go to the farm where she grew up,” trainer and co-breeder Rusty Arnold said. “We’ve got our two horses (Totally Boss andLeinster) for the Breeders’ Cup (Turf Sprint-G1) and there are six or seven other good ones, so it will be up to one of those two to carry the banner for us.”
With Friday’s $30,000 check, Morticia increased her career bankroll to $1,019,669 with a record of 26-10-7-5-5. The daughter of Twirling Candy made all of her starts on the turf except for her debut as a 2-year-old in 2016 at Ellis Park, where she finished sixth in an off-the-turf race.
“I know how lucky I am,” Arnold, who bred Morticia with Humphrey, said. “I have a one-broodmare band (the Mr. Greeley mare Halloween Party) and I have a millionaire out of her.”
Never worse than fourth in any of her 25 turf starts, Morticia won at nine tracks, including twice at Keeneland that featured a triumph in the 2017 Buffalo Trace Franklin County.
Her first Keeneland start came in April 2017 when she finished second in the Appalachian (G3) Presented by Japan Racing Association going 1 miles.
“I never tried her two turns again because she was doing so well sprinting and she won three stakes right after that,” Arnold said. “In the Appalachian, (Grade 1 winner) La Coronel ran by her in the stretch and she beat (two-time Grade 1 winner) New Money Honey and that good filly of Brendan Walsh’s (Proctor’s Ledge).”
Morticia won’t be headed to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and neither will Team Valor International’s Oleksandra, trained by Neil Drysdale.
Girls Know Best, who finished a neck behind Morticia in third, might head to California, according to trainer and part-owner Eddie Kenneally.
The $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy (G3) at 5½ furlongs on the turf is part of the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup undercard. Kenneally has two of his horses pointed to the World Championships: Scabbard (TVG Juvenile-G1) and Abscond (Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1).
“I’m not sure (about the Maddy),” said Kenneally, who claimed Girls Knows Best here two years ago for $40,000. “There are a lot of races for her (at Gulfstream Park) such as the Abundontia (going 5 furlongs on Dec. 28) and the race she won a couple of years ago on Pegasus Day (the Ladies’ Turf Sprint Stakes also at 5 furlongs).”
Regarding the Breeders’ Cup, Kenneally said that Mike Smith would have the mount on Scabbard and Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Abscond.