LEXINGTON, Ky. – Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Swilcan Stable’s Vequist ($15.20) shot through an opening on the rail in deep stretch and drew off to a 2-length victory over pacesetting Dayoutoftheoffice to win the 37th running of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) Friday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Butch Reid and ridden by Joel Rosario, Vequist covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:42.30.
“My wife (Ginny) did a sensational job with her all week. She really thrived on this air and the weather. She looked great coming in. I knew we would be laying up close. She’s a sharp filly. She doesn’t mind the inside obviously. I don’t know that you ever have that kind of feeling but we knew she was doing very well and we know she’s a very talented filly,” an exuberant Butch Reid said.
It is the second victory from two Breeders’ Cup starters for Reid who won the 2011 Marathon at Churchill Downs with Afleet Again. It is 12th Breeders’ Cup victory for Rosario and second in the Juvenile Fillies having won with Jaywalk at Churchill Downs in 2018.
Dayoutoftheoffice led the field of seven unopposed and at the top of the stretch furthered her advantage but left room along the inside for jockey Joel Rosario to charge through with Vequist. Dayoutoftheoffice saved the place by a nose over Girl Daddy who was a nose in front of Simply Ravishing as favored Princess Noor finished fifth.
“I tried to save ground. It was hard for her in the turn because I had a horse outside me. But she did great. I never gave up my position. As soon as I asked her she went on with it. It was a very good performance,” said Rosario of his winning trip.
The victory was worth $1,100,000 and increased Vequist’s earnings to $1,295,500 with a record of 4-2-2-0 that includes a Grade 1 victory in the Spinaway at Saratoga.
Bred by Swilcan Stables, Vequist is a 2-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Nyquist out of the Mineshaft mare Vero Amore.
Trainer of Second-place Dayoutoftheoffice Tim Hamm said proudly: “She ran really hard, we’re proud of her. No complaints. We had a decent trip on the front end. Not a ton of pressure, no excuses. We talked about the race earlier and we said if no one goes I didn’t mind seeing her on the lead. She has a lot of natural speed and does it fairly easy so it didn’t shock me.”
Junior Alvarado added:“I thought there would be more speed but nobody seemed to want the lead. I sort of made the lead by default. She never seemed to settle on the lead and I think that made the difference.”
Trainer of Third-place finisher, Girl Daddy, Dale Romans said: “She ran super. I thought we had a chance (to win) turning for home. She ran a big race. She didn’t have the cleanest trip but I am happy with her. She got hung a little wide; it wasn’t anyone’s fault, it is just the way the race unfolded.”
Kenny McPeek, trainer of Fourth-place Simply Ravishing, stated: “(Simply Ravishing) broke bad, stuck in traffic, nowhere to go and couldn’t get there. The onehole is kind of tough and like I said, (Simply Ravishing) broke bad. Crazy Beautiful, we might need to regroup altogether. I think she might be a sprinter.”
Jockey Luis Saez added: “The filly stumbled in the gate. They grabbed her tail and they never have done that before. I don’t know why. I had to grab her and that cost us a little bit because we were supposed to be right there, one or two. That didn’t happen.”
Fifth-place finishing Princess Noor‘s trainer Bob Baffert remarked: “She was in a good spot, he had her in a perfect spot there but she just didn’t kick on. I’m pretty disappointed. She just came up empty. I had a lot of confidence in her but the winner ran a big race. They were going pretty fast. She just didn’t have it.”
Jockey Victory Espinoza commented: “She broke out of the gate nice. Everything was working perfectly fine for me, but I knew we were in trouble when we hit the five-eighths pole because she was kind of having a hard timing running on the track. She was kind of slipping around. As long I got her in the bridle, she was running but she was forcing herself too much and she was wasting a lot of energy. The minute I started riding her that was it. She backed up and started lugging in. That was it.”
Photo Credit: Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/ Breeders’ Cup