By Joe Bianca
Undefeated British Idiom (Flashback), recently crowned champion 2-year-old filly of 2019, will make her sophomore debut in Saturday’s GII Rachel Alexandra S. at Fair Grounds, where she’ll meet Finite (Munnings), winner of four straight, and five other rivals in the 1 1/16-mile test.
Bought for $40,000 as a Fasig-Tipton October yearling, the chestnut debuted in a maiden race at Saratoga restricted to purchases of $45,000 or less and posted a 3 1/2-length pace-pressing success. Shipped to Keeneland and stretched out to two turns, she blew away her competition to the tune of a 6 1/2-length romp in the Oct. 4 GI Darley Alcibiades S., and locked up her Eclipse statuette with a hard-fought neck score in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. Getting back on the worktab Dec. 29, the Brad Cox trainee shows seven local breezes for this return, capped by a half-mile move in :48 3/5 (13/138) Feb. 9.
“After Breeders’ Cup we gave her some time off to just be a horse and put some weight on. She’s really trained well in the past four or five weeks, she’s picked it up and each week she seems to be getting better and better,” Cox told the Fair Grounds notes team. “She’s coming into this race every bit as good as she was when she went into Breeders’ Cup. I’m really excited about how she’s training and I think she’ll run really well Saturday.”
Drawing post six, British Idiom need only look one stall to her right to find main rival Finite. Runner-up twice on dirt this summer at Saratoga, the $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic buy broke her maiden with a wire-to-wire score on the Kentucky Downs turf Sept. 12 and ran away to a six-length conquest of the Rags to Riches S. back on dirt Oct. 27 at Churchill. Having to dig deep in her next two outings, she prevailed by three-quarters of a length in the GII Golden Rod S. Nov. 30 under the Twin Spires and a neck in the local Silverbulletday S. Jan. 18.
Both the second and third finishers in a photo finish with Finite that day, Ursula (Tapit) and Tempers Rising (Bayern), re-oppose, while trainer Kenny McPeek adds a pair of longshot players to the mix. Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil), a powerful 5 1/2-length victress on debut Nov. 16 at Churchill, was a tough-luck second in an optional claimer there two weeks later before running fifth in the Gasparilla S. Jan. 18 at Tampa. Impeccable Style (Uncle Mo), a second-out graduate Sept. 28 at Churchill, is confidently spotted off the bench while toting an array of fast breezes at Gulfstream, capped by a five-panel spin in :59 4/5 (2/35) Feb. 8.
“They’re two fillies that I think both have a lot of talent,” McPeek said. “Both want to go longer and are asking for a route of ground. I think it’s going to be a really good test for them as far as class and distance.”