Trainer Ignacio Correas IV said Merriebelle Stable's Blue Prize (ARG) was “very well” Monday morning, the day after she turned in a memorable performance to win the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1).
With Joe Bravo aboard, Blue Prize ducked out sharply beyond the middle of the track before the eighth pole. That allowed Champagne Problems on the rail to reach near-even terms. Bravo got Blue Prize straightened out inside the sixteenth pole and drew clear for the victory by three-quarters of a length.
Blue Prize, who was third in last year's Juddmonte Spinster, gave Correas his first Grade 1 win in North America and is headed to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. He said the 5-year-old mare will remain at his Keeneland base to continue preparations for the Breeders' Cup but had not determined her training schedule.
Blue Prize will mark the second Breeders' Cup starter for Correas, who sent out Humble and Hungry to run eighth in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) at Churchill.
Sunday's stretch run might have reminded racing fans of another eventful running of the Juddmonte Spinster from 10 years ago when Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable's Carriage Trail won the race.
According to the chart, “Carriage Trail close up off the rail, angled out after a half, challenged four wide after six furlongs, took over for the drive and drew off while drifting out badly in the final furlong to finish near the outside rail.”
Even with that detour, Carriage Trail and jockey Kent Desormeaux still won the Juddmonte Spinster by 7¾ lengths. They next ran fourth behind future champion Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (now Distaff) (G1) at Santa Anita.
Six Column Stables, Randall Bloch, John Seiler, Fred Merritt and David Hall's Champagne Problems was scheduled to return to the Skylight Training Center in Goshen, Kentucky, on Tuesday for trainer Ian Wilkes.
Wilkes said Monday morning that no decision has been reached on which direction to go with Champagne Problems, who has run second in her past two starts against Blue Prize.
Whit Beckman, assistant to Chad Brown, said Peter Brant and Ciaglia Racing's Pacific Wind came out of her third-place finish in the Juddmonte Spinster fine.
“She looks good this morning,” Beckman said. “She got a good trip yesterday and saved ground.”
Beckman said plans going forward for Pacific Wind are undetermined.
Trainer Kenny McPeek reported on Twitter Sunday evening that Eskimo Kisses came back fine after her seventh-place finish as the 9-5 favorite. For ownersGainesway Stable, Harold Lerner, Andrew Rosen, Nehoc Stables and Magdalena Racing, the 3-year-old filly entered the race off a win in the Alabama (G1).
“Eskimo Kisses came back fine,” McPeek tweeted. “It wasn't her day. We will regroup and figure if Breeders' Cup is right move with her.”
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