Vote No Says Yes to Turf in Juvenile Sprint

September 14, 2023

Vote No from off the pace to capture the Juvenile Sprint (Coady Photography)

By Kentucky Downs Publicity Team

FRANKLIN, Ky.— Vote No was an emphatic yes in his turf debut Wednesday, finishing fastest of all from off the pace on the Kentucky Downs track that has been kind to speed to win the $500,000 Pepsi Juvenile Sprint.

Joseph P. Morey Jr.’s 2-year-old gelding by first-crop sire Divisidero caught and passed pacesetters Hedwig and Bledsoe inside the sixteenth pole to win a race he had been supplemented into. He finished three-quarters of a length in front of Hedwig, reaching the wire in the 6 ½ -furlong stake in 1:16.44. Please Advise was third.

Sent off at odds of 12-1, Vote No paid $27.22 to win.

Vote No has a strong turf pedigree and proved to be well-suited for Kentucky Downs. Divisidero, a graded stakes winner on grass in each of his five seasons racing, is a son of prominent grass sire Kitten’s Joy. His dam, Sistas Ready is a daughter of the late More Than Ready, who sired good dirt and turf runners. Vote No began his racing career with a 1 ½-length victory on the synthetic track at Presque Isle Downs on Aug 23.

Joseph Morey Jr. of Atherton, Calif, and trainer William Morey, friends with the same last name, had not nominated him for the Pepsi Juvenile Sprint but opted to pay the supplemental fee of $12,500 to enter the stake. It was a mighty good investment: Vote No earned $298,800 for the victory.

“The way I looked at it was, we were 12-1 fpr $500,000. So if we do that a few times, we’ll get lucky once in a while. Joe is just like an uncle to me, but surprisingly enough we’re not related. But he’s as close as an uncle to me, for sure,” William Morey said.

Everything about Vote No’s young, but so-far successful career is less-than-standard procedure.

“Actually my wife (Elizabeth Morey) picked this horse out off the videos at OBS,” William Morey said. “Alistair Roden helped us bid on him down there at the sale on behalf of Joe, kind of a last-minute thing. We brought him up to Turfway to train him. He started training really forwardly. I’m a synthetic guy. I train on the synthetic at Turfway, so I debuted him on the synthetic at Presque Isle on purpose. I didn’t even nominate to this race originally because it was back in about 2 1/2 weeks. But as good as he was doing, we went on and supplemented him and took our chances.”

When Hedwig and Beldsoe engaged soon after leaving the gate, it looked like it would be a two-horse race. They were in front through fractions of 21.79 for the first quarter and 45.17 for the half-mile. Entering the stretch, Vote No and jockey Gerardo Corrales were third, 2 ½  lengths back but on the move about four paths of the rail. At the eighth pole, Hedwig, the even-money favorite, and Bledsoe seemed safely in front, but Vote No closed the gap in the next sixteenth and surged to the lead.William Morey said the Vote No’s future was yet to be determined.

“We hadn’t even looked at this race,” he said, “let alone past this race.”

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