She ran a good race today,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “We were looking forward to the distance and she got the job done today. I knew the seven horse [Magic Circle] was inside and came out. I was just surprised that they claimed foul on me, honestly. I grabbed a hold of my filly, corrected her, went to the left hand and went straight. I didn’t do anything to the other horse so I don’t know why they claimed foul, but it is what it is.”
The Demoiselle was one of three graded stakes wins on the card for Pletcher, coming between wins in the Grade 2 Remsen with Mo Donegal and Grade 1 Cigar Mile presented by NYRA Bets with American Revolution. After sweating out inquiries in all three of his wins, Pletcher said he was grateful to have come out of each one with his victory upheld.
“There have been some tight finishes and a little drama to go along with it, but I’m thankful to be on the right side of it all,” he said. “She [Nest] was never able to take over and save much ground, but she got the job done. I’m obviously very happy to be on the winning end. We’ll take her to Palm Beach Downs and map out a game plan with Mike [Repole] and the rest of the owners, but she’ll get a freshening after this win.”
Abreu said he expected Venti Valentine to give a good performance and will likely target the one-mile $250,000 Busher Invitational on March 5 at the Big A.
“She ran her race. I thought she was going to run the way she ran,” Abreu said. “Unfortunately that seven horse [Magic Circle] had to come out and she kind of stopped her momentum, but she ran a very good race. I’m going to take her to Florida and give her a little break and then I’m probably going to point her for the Busher [Invitational].”
Velazquez said the stretch run issue may have cost his filly.
“The horse on the inside [Magic Circle] came out and stopped my momentum,” Velazquez said. “By the time the other one got to her, she got intimidated. The horse leaned a little bit, but never touched me.”
A $350,000 buy at the Keeneland September sale last year, Nest was a debut winner in a maiden special weight at Belmont on September 25 before her third-place effort in the Tempted behind Grade 1 Frizette runner-up Gerrymander and Magic Circle in second.
A full sister to Grade 1 winner Idol, Nest was bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stables. She earned $137,500 in victory, boosting her total earnings to $205,000 and improving her record to 3-2-0-1. She returned $5.50 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 10-race card on Closing Day of the Big A fall meet featuring the $150,000 NYSSS Staten Island in Race 5 and the $150,000 NYSSS Thunder Rumble in Race 10. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule. NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the fall meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
NYRA Press Release