Big Evs Proves Equal To The Task in the Juvenile Turf Sprint

Big Evs | Breeders' Cup/Eclipse Sportswire


RP Racing's Big Evs (Ire) (Blue Point {Ire}) came into Friday's GI Breeders' Juvenile Turf Sprint carrying great expectation. The 2-year-old's trainer, Mick Appleby, was making his Breeders' Cup debut, as was jockey Tom Marquand. Far from newcomers in their respective bases in the UK, the duo had to travel a long way for this year's World Championships at Santa Anita, but the voyage proved worth their while as the Irish-bred proved best in a blistering renewal of the five-furlong turf test.

“I'm still gobsmacked,” said a visibly moved Appleby following his first North American graded victory. “I can't believe it. He's been an absolute superstar all year and to come here and put in a performance like that is unreal.”

Accustomed to getting his way early against his fellow European rivals in four of five prior starts, Big Evs was given a crash course  in 'American' speed as 6-1 shot Crimson Advocate (Nyquist) blasted to the front, streaking through an eye-popping quarter in :20.71. Unrelenting, the 3-1 chance was not going to let her get away from him, pressing her relentlessly through a half in :43.65. Ready to pounce on the game front-runner leaving the quarter pole, Big Evs collared the gallant filly in early stretch, scooted clear through the lane and had enough to hold off the fast-closing longshot–G2 Norfolk S. winner Valiant Force (Malibu Moon)–by a half length. Group 3 scorer Starlust (GB) (Zoustar {Aus}), partnered by Frankie Dettori, rounded out the trifecta for European-based horses, finishing 3/4 of a length behind the runner up at odds of 24-1.

“Just amazing. Once he got out the gates and we got in an early position, I knew we wouldn't be far away,” said Marquand, who was realizing his first Breeders' Cup win in his first attempt. “Turning for home nothing was going to catch him. He put his head down and galloped all the way to the line.”

“To ride a Breeders' Cup winner is a dream come true. He's just an exceptional horse.”

Hardly a surprise here, Big Evs has proven remarkably consistent overseas, having finished better than second in four of five starts. Runner up in his career debut at Redcar in May, the son of Freshman sire Blue Point reeled off a pair of wins in the Windsor Castle S. at Royal Ascot before eking out a front-running neck win in the Aug. 2 G3 Molecomb S. at Glorious Goodwood. Well supported for the G1 Nunthorpe S. at York Aug. 25, the colt faded to 14th behind winner Live In the Dream (Ire) (Prince Of Lir {Ire})–a contender in Saturday's GI Turf Sprint–behind  bounced back to take the G2 Flying Childers S. at Doncaster Sept. 15.

“Going into the race, I thought he had an outstanding chance, and when Tom rode him in a breeze earlier in the week he couldn't have been more bullish,” explained Appleby. “We'll enjoy it as it's a dream to be here never mind go and win. Hopefully he comes out the race in good order then we'll make a plan for next season. He really is a horse of a lifetime for us. I can't thank the team at home enough for all their hard work.”

Much to the dismay of trainer Jessica Harrington, Group 3 winner Givemethebeatboys (Ire) (Bungle Inthejungle {GB}) was a vet scratch Friday. Third in the G1 Phoenix S. at the Curragh in August, he finished fourth last time out in the Sept. 30 G1 Middle Park S.

Pedigree Notes:
Darley's Blue Point continued his scintillating season while earning his second top-level winner at Santa Anita Friday. The sire of Rosallion (Ire), winner of the Oct. 1 G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp, Blue Point is responsible for no less than 41 thus far. The leading First season sire with over $1.7 million in earnings, the son of Shamardal currently ranks second overall among European-based sire with their juvenile offspring.

The winner's dam, Hana Lina (GB), is a daughter of European champion 2-year-old Filly and English Highweight juvenile filly Queen's Logic (Ire) (Grand Lodge), a half-sister to European Horse of the Year and $6.6-million earner Dylan Thomas (Ire) (Danehill) and Classic winner and English Highweight 3-year-old filly Homecoming Queen (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}). The latter is responsible for Highweight English and Irish juvenile filly Shale (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Queen's Logic also proved successful in the breeding shed, producing Lady Of The Desert (Rahy), herself a 3-year-old highweight at 5-7 furlongs.

Subsequent to her first black-type winner, Hana Lina foaled a Ribchester (Ire) filly last season and followed up with a colt by Earthlight (Ire) this term.



Friday, Santa Anita
BREEDERS' CUP JUVENILE TURF SPRINT-GI, $920,000, Santa Anita, 11-3, 2yo, 5fT, :55.31, fm.
1–BIG EVS (IRE), 122, c, 2, by Blue Point (Ire)
         1st Dam: Hana Lina (GB), by Oasis Dream (GB)
         2nd Dam: Queen's Logic (Ire), by Grand Lodge
         3rd Dam: Lagrion, by Diesis (GB)
1ST GRADE I WIN. (50,000gns Ylg '22 TATOCT). O-RP Racing Ltd; B-Rabbah Bloodstock Limited (Ire); T-Michael Appleby; J-Tom Marquand. $520,000. Lifetime Record: MGSW-Eng, 6-4-1-0, $748,283. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Valiant Force, 122, c, 2, Malibu Moon–Vigui's Heart, by Quality Road. 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. ($75,000 Wlg '21 KEENOV; $100,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Amo Racing USA; B-Ramon Horta Rangel & Spendthrift Farm (KY); T-Adrian Murray. $170,000.
3–Starlust (GB), 122, c, 2, Zoustar (Aus)–Beyond Desire (GB), by Invincible Spirit (Ire). 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. (55,000gns Ylg '22 TATOCT). O-Mrs. Fitriani Hay; B-Branton Court Stud LLP (GB); T-Ralph Beckett. $90,000.
Margins: HF, 3/4, NK. Odds: 3.20, 23.10, 24.00.
Also Ran: No Nay Mets (Ire), Shards, Crimson Advocate, Committee of One, Cherry Blossom (Ire), Slider, Amidst Waves, Asean (Ire), Tiger Belle (Ire). Scratched: April Vintage, Givemethebeatboys (Ire), Hedwig.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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