APB: Spendarella Targeting Keeneland's Jenny Wiley

Spendarella | Coady


In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack tracks down top horses on the sidelines.

Gainesway homebred Spendarella (f, 3, Karakontie {Jpn}–Spanish Bunny, by Unusual Heat)–sidelined since posting a dominating 4 1/2-length victory for trainer Graham Motion in the GI Del Mar Oaks in August–will return for a 4-year-old campaign with an early-season target of the GI Jenny Wiley S. at Keeneland.

“She came out of that last race with a couple of little issues and we gave her some time,” said Alex Solis II, Gainesway's Director of Bloodstock and Racing.

“She actually just got back to Graham about two weeks ago at Fair Hill. He'll get her back going and the goal I'm sure is going to be to try to run her in that Grade I at Keeneland during the spring meet. It will be up to Graham if he wants to prep her or if she'll just go straight into that.”

After beginning her career with two wins over the Gulfstream lawn, including a front-running tally in the GIII Herecomesthebride S. Mar. 5, Spendarella made it a perfect three-for-three in Keeneland's GII Appalachian S. Apr. 9. She lost very little if anything while suffering the lone defeat of her brilliant career thus far, finishing a respectable second behind three-time Group 1 heroine Inspiral (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in the G1 Coronation S. at Royal Ascot June 17. Spendarella returned two months later and posted a career-best 91 Beyer Speed Figure in her aforementioned win at Del Mar.

“From the beginning, we had high hopes,” Solis said. “She's such an important filly for [Gainesway CEO] Antony [Beck]–she's a homebred and she's by his sire. He's enjoyed it the whole way through.”

Already responsible for GI American Oaks heroine Spanish Queen (Tribal Rule), the winning California-bred mare Spanish Bunny brought $130,000 from Gainesway at the 2015 Keeneland November Sale.

Currently in foal and carrying a full-brother to Spendarella, Spanish Bunny has also produced the MSW & MGSP 4-year-old filly Spanish Loveaffair (Karakontie {Jpn}), who brought $600,000 from Shadai Farm at last month's KEENOV sale. Spanish Bunny had a colt by Uncle Mo in 2022.

As for Spendarella, Solis concluded, “The Breeders' Cup is in California [at Santa Anita] next year and we know she'll handle firm ground. She proved it in the Del Mar Oaks that she really likes it. There's a lot of options out there on the table for next year and the whole team is really looking forward to it.”

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